The place fulfills the potential that lies in the Woodside Social Club, if only the Woody was done up, it could be as nice as Tufnell's, clean, modern, no mould, fresh, air conditioning / dehumidifiers in the ceiling, bar proudly in the middle of the room. The flyer said doors 7, its almost 9 and the bands are still soundchecking.
They even have mirrors on the walls like the Woody here. Although the barman does bare a striking resemblance to both Leonardo Di Caprio and the T-1000.
The sound was a lot better for Pete Green than last night, amplified, tweaked, smoothed out. But shilst then it was a crowd of twee internet folk hanging on to his every word, toniht the promoter's chatting during his songs, the promoter's mates are chatting, the sound man and his mates are chatting, and most of the punters in the other room are chatting, its pretty distracting. He does give them a good talking to and the chatters depart, just leaving a thin twee line.
The walls here are sparkly, fitting neatly with his song "Everything I do is going to be sparkly" (buy the single). Unexpected phaser effect during his Oh Mr Beeching song and his "MySpace Fucking Sucks" song falls a little flat to the crowd who've heard it a dozen times before and the fifty in the other room who couldn't care less.
His last song reminded me a little of Dire Straits's Romeo and Juliet.
Great bloke, crap venue for him.
I was outside chatting to Fiona during Sunny Street's set, sounded okay, tamboriney, like the Hermit Crabs. But when we came inside it was shite. Two folk stood on stage in silence whilst a backing tape played. The backing tape sounded okay, but the boy with his guitar was too quiet, and the girl singing was way way down in the mix.
I was kind of embarrassed that I'd talked up the gig to Fiona.
Bobby Monster was on next, the guitarist from the Pipettes, I think they're one of these bands what my former flatmate Alan used to be mental about. Anyhoo it was kind of dischordant to start with , a bit experimental and arty. The guy probably thought he was Laurence from Felt. The drum/bass machine/synth drowned out his acoustic guitar and the lyrics were badly sung, a bit ropey.
Fiona was going on about misplaced arrogance and almost pissed herself when he announced he had an album for sale, only ten quid. You can buy Amy Winehouse's latest for £7.99 - compare and contrast. But as the set drew on, you could kind out make out the tunes hidden in there, trying to escape, even Fi slowly warmed to it.
Actually, now as I type this up, I note The Pipettes's wikpedia page references Bill and Jimi's The Manual, so hey ho, the guy's a god, its 2007: what the fuck's going on.
Finally, probably the best band of the night were headliners Strange Idols, but that's no saying much. They looked like they were having fun on stage. The singer girl all mincing it up as a vampish Eno/Dabbie Harry. But the sound was appalling, the bass at first drowned out everything and was pretty painful to listen to, to the sound dude turned up everything else to level it out, making it even hrder to listen to.
We left three songs in, I apologised to Fi, its not usually like this. Live music ought to be accessible, comprehensible, not painful and borderline pisstake. Fix it.