Sunday, 30 September 2007

MJ Hibbett, Keith John Adams, Navvy, Sarandon - The Buffalo

I'm not sure whether its a really stressful city or just me. Parking tickets, losing cameras, knackered printers and hour long phone alls with neglected parents outside venues when I can hear MJ Hibbett on stage, something witty and warm, but I'm stuck outside, on the phone, with a dozen polis and ambulances going past.

Finally the parents let me go and The Buffalo is kind of full. Hibbett has finished but I bet he was up to his usual fine form.

Keith John Adams
are setting up on stage, poised to start and I'm pretty sure I had to phone the missus. If I go outside I'll miss some of the second band, gah.

Procrastination, after twenty minutes they hit the stage properly. A three piece - drums, guitar and a chap playing keyboards about a foot off the ground.

My mind's on other things, they sound a bit ska, the lead singer looks like Suggs. Every so often I think they sound like Anal Beard, and also I get flashes of understanding why some people really don't like The Plimptons.

Keith John Adams has fans in the crowd.

Outside again, I do boyfriend duties and check on my car. All reassured I head back and miss the start of Navvy.

An arty four piece, two female percusionists with more cow bells than you can shake a stick at, which is kind of what they're doing. I'm always intrigued by dual simultaneous drumming, its a splendor to behold.

Cracking stuff, I never listened to The Fall enough to do an accurate comparison, but with the girl yelps its an interesting combination.

I wish I'd had my camera with me, here I could make it looks like Lost Music's nights are as good as anything on Driven By Boredom. It would give me impedus to talk to people, instead of forever standing behind and to the right of the same people night after night.

Some tall chap asks if I'm a journalist, scribbling in my notebook. No, I just have the internet. People glance over as I scribble, me serving as some disillusion in thar heids.

This notebook is like a security blanket to me, or maybe some pretentious part of my costume, like the Wolfknuckle masks.

I am a superhero, my costume this leather jacket, my weapon this notebook, my power this website (17 hits yesterday).

A sample reverberates round the room, "Kill Twee Pop". This isn't just in my head is it. With the Indiepop Stalin thing, the descent of Bowlie and "Kill Twee Pop". Its the first song from Sarandon's album apparently.

I've never seen them before, just a name on playlists. Rather noisey and warm, and jagged indie-rock. A bit arty too. They all seemed to be having fun on stage, and came across as jolly nice chaps. I just couldn't engage with the music, sorry.

Other Reviews
Here

Arctic Circle, My Sad Captains, The Lodger - The Windmill

Arctic Circle 2
I figured I could just get the underground to Clapham North and ander across the fields rather than change at Stockwell for Brixton. So it was a bit later than planned when I wandered into The Windmill halfway through some geeky looking twelve piece.

The place is pretty crowded and the music is pleasantly melodica drenched. There's a guy in the middle of the stage, halfway bacl, who seems to be using a left-handed egg-shaker, one of only 60 ever made by Stagg Music, these guys music take sickly sweet indiepop seriously.

Boy and girl singing and backing vocals too, but the lead bloke singing is a little fuzzy. I would have had the bloke on the right doing lead vocals instead.

For the last the song the wee girl singer straps on what appears to be a 4/3 sized bass guitar and rocks out.

If it wasn't the weekend before pay day, I'd buy the CD.

So what brings me to a How Does It Feel promotion, so soon after resolving to never again back in February? A friend off of the internet suggested it and besides, tonight I have no ticket for Joanna Newsom at the Albert Hall.

My Sad Captains on next. I thought it was going to be Brave Captain, alas.
My Sad Captains
A five piece with Tim Wheeler on bass, Fish from Ally McBeal on purepop lead guitar, Stephen Merchant on guitar and vocals and Felicity Fey on keyboard, violin and girl "bar bar" backing vocals. At first I had them pegged as a Lightning Seeds style pure pop band with neat keyboards and a sound that probly comes across as warm and rich on the recordings, but here despite the soundmans' best efforts, its a little rough.

The bestest songs come in the middle and are available on 7" vinyl (damned poorly planned pay day)

By the end of the set I'm of the mind that they're tonight's answer to The Great Money Trick. I wonder if Ian HDIF would be interested in having them on.

The final act of the night, The Lodger, looks either like John Waz with floppy hair, or Leeds's answer to Martin from QuestionableContent, but seemed vocally remarkably like Ian Brodie from The Lightning Seeds, but a little more guitary though.

Not quite interesting enough to stick around for, so I head into the beer garden to smoke and chat.

Reviews
here

Photies
here
here

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Bunnygrunt, Strawberry Story, Cooties Attack, The Cut-Outs - Monkey Chews

Hairclips. I left the flat a good hour before the show but still managed to miss the first act, 'members of' The Cut Outs. They were excellent according to Pete Green.
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We're at Monkey Chews once again and Spiral Scratch are here in full effect, Crystal Ball, Alice from Arthur and Matha and that guy who looks like Sci-Fi Steve with more hair. The second band on are Cooties Attack.

When they finished I had the phrase “an airfix kit put together by a six year old” in my head. They were charming, beset by technical difficluties early on so they only had one mic. Ought to have been boy/girl two vocal with guitar, synth and drum machine. At times they sounded like that and who did “Welsh Bands Suck”, Sonic Art Union”, back in the nineties.

Their song about being in love with Tracy-Ann truly warmed the cockles, 'Love you more than Stu', she's such a harsh mistress.

I crashed and burned once in an attempt to lure her into my bedroom in a double-team action with AJ Plimpton, back in the video webcast days.

On the way out between bands to scribble notes I bump into that chap who looks like Mad Man Moon. Is it going to be another of one of those nights? I better get more beer in.

Eep, I've eaten nothing today, save a packet of choccy digestives, the beer's going straight to my head and quality of scribbling is decreasing.

During Cooties there was this annoying squeaky girl stood behind me talking through most of the set, and what do you know, she's the singer from third band, Strawberry Story. They start off by announcing they've “only played four songs in the last fifteen years, so we're going to be crap”.

So I wander out to pretend to smoke a cigarette. This reverse psychology advertising doesn't quite work on me.

Having said that, I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress, I'm just usually in too deep by the time I realise that its self-inflicted.

There were plenty of people in te audience hollering so maybe I missed something good. Half a dozen folk eagerly taking photies, then can sling online their own take on it.

Headlining tonight are Bunnygrunt. Due to technical difficulties there was no vocals in the first song, they played on regardless, it was a damned fine instrumental.

They were a bit garage rocky although while they fixes the microphone the drummer ad bass player noodled in the New York jazz style, the spirit of Dave Brubeck was in the air.

Back to business with storming gritty rock, breathy girl vocals and lead guitar which veered more towards soaring than blistering.

Status Quo and Hawkwind cover went down well with the happily bopping crowd. The icing on the Bunnygrunt cake was the never ending rock flourish ending to their last song, which kept us hanging on for days.

They have a CD out on WeePop!

Photies
here
here
here

Reviews
here

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Indie Pop Program #1

I was listening to Radio 2 the other day, and Mark Lemarr's Reggea Program came on and I was thinking, if they cater for that specialist musical genre, then why no cater for others too, with their own unique program.

They could have a Comedy Rock Program, a Mumcore Haddockpop Program, etc.

Here's my first attempt at The Radio 2 Indie Pop Program, with me, Chris Gilmour

A bit of a productive evening last night, doing this podcast.
The Indie Pop Program #1
Do yersel a right-click - save as
or if you understand the lore of feeds
http://www.btpodshow.com/feeds/theindiepopprogram.xml

The tracklisting is as follows

Stars of Aviation - Marie Et L'Accordion
The Just Joans - Back to High School
The Plimptons - Japan
Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps - Santa Always Brought Me The Blues
Camera Obscura - Lets get out of this Country
The Radio Dept - 1995
The Martial Arts - Exploding Crushing Inevitable
Herman Dune - I Wish That I Could See you Soon
DJ Unfit for Work - Love in These Times
The Deep Fried Wolfknuckles - 100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields cover)
The Sequins - No one ever dreams about me
My Little Airport - Smile like a Flower
Hong Kong in the 60s - Mirror of Ink

It's a bit weird, one application I used said it was 55 minutes long, but MS Media Player says its 1 hour 5, sounds okay to me.
No permissions were requested for the songs, which I'm sure will bite my ass at some point, so my policy for the bands featured is if they have any issues I can easily repost the Program without their track.

Herman Dune, Tiny Dancers - University of London Union

Gah, students! Hundreds of them, and they all look odd, and wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Paul Calf type, I love these mindless wannabe hipsters as much as the next battle hardened graduate. Its just that this is stundet-central and they're all so old-looking.

I didn't know how to get to the venue so I missed the first act, must see them some other time.

So, to the Indiana Jones theme, Tiny Dancers take to the stage. It reminds me of how I felt before Cast came on in '95.
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Hmm, when have I seen this cunz before? I could be getting them confused with The Edgar Winters Group, there's a similar vibe. American FM stuff, but with huge punchy bass drum and a singer in green jersey and red baseball cap.

Mic stands are adorned with white flowers, not as nicely done as Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, and there appears to be a potted plant near the keyboard stand.

When they go a bit Razorlitey, I head to the bar. Something about how drinks used to be cheap at stundet unions. I didn't get close enough to be served before I lost interest, huge queues, crap service and punters dicking about with their drinks. The problem isn't that there's not enough barstaff, its just that sometimes people ought to accept they're not going to get ice with their drink, and that last minute order from a mate after the rest of the drinks have come should go to the wind.

Crikey, as the roadies set up, the anticipation in the room is palpable, is this the same Herman Dune wot played the Winchester Club in Glasgow the other year? This is a 800 punter venue and its buzzing before the band come on. I feel uncomfortable.

They still look like a bunch of hippies, with Orlando Bloom on bongos and Mick Fleetwood on guitar and vocals.

Some natty guitarwork on lead and solos from 'David' and the backing vocals are the magic which makes it all work.

I do like that “I Wish That I Could See You Soon” song, but well, at least 50% of their songs sound just like it. When they actually get round to playing it, it comes across a bit mangled, stripped of the tenderness of the original recorded version and well, spiced up. The drums make it heavy, the guitar stamp on it and the vocals seem a bit jarring.
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They play a couple of new songs, which seem a bit darker and could grow on me, but the evening seemed to drag on during the second half of the set.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Bearsuit, Ida Maria, Cheeky Cheeky and The Nosebleeds - The Dublin Castle

The Dublin Castle, and I think I have a cold coming on, that kind of welling up of the sinuses and gnuck sensation around the nose.

Cheeky Cheeky and The Nosebleeds
are on stage. Its Club Fandango, which means little to me. They make noises with guitar, and some shouting too. I only caught the last song, but from that I reckon Dananananaykroyd could see them off with no problems.

I wasn't sue if I'd wandered the right way down Parkway to find the venue until I saw the singing girl from Bearsuit, I'd recognise that skirt anywhere.

She'd vanished when I wandered in, but I caught sight of Steve Lamacq, the old booker from The Word. Its a shame he abandoned that, the TV channels formerly known as terrestrial sorely need music. Still that was almost twenty years ago, I'm here now.

Time Out said something about the next band being Swedish, but I'm not sure how well they'd fit in with Sounds of Sweden's tweeness, for Ida Maria rock a fair bit.
IMG_2545
The girl has a mighty voice and stage presence, reminiscent of the sound and intensity of mid-nineties Bjork. Cast iron fringe, polka-dot red dress, and three lads playing instruments until she straps on her own guitar. Its kind of embracing the way she keep glancing at the other guys on stage as if in reassurance.

I was going to slag off the way that despite the voice and the hooks, the tunes aren't really up to much, but then halfway through I realise it sounds like they have early Ash as the backing band and all is good in the world.

Its a bit crude, but the song name “I like you so much better when you're naked”, like c'mon.

I thought I saw fans in the crowd singing along, but it was just the promo girl, later on the hunt for mailing list unters. It took a bit of running around to avoid her.

New Year 2006, I started a websie called Hot Chicks from Obscure Indie Bands, it was a great idea, but I gave up after 24 hours. One of the women to make it was Lisa the singing girl from Bearsuit, tonight now wearing hotpants and a top like my missus would wear in bed. How can I take photies of the band without feelng creepy.

Time passes and ah ha, the band launch themselves on stage wearing Jupiter Force spacesuits, which makes a refreshing change.

I saw them at The Venue in Edinburgh in 2003, possibly with Debbiee, and remember being concerned that they sounded like kids let loose in the instruments cupboard in music class. More like they're having a fight in the cupboard.
IMG_2547
The singer girl was brimming with even more unbridled glee in the music than my 18 month old niece when she sees a doggy woggy. The glee is infectious.

They play old songs and new ones from the new album out yesterday, and its knackering stuff even just watching them.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Prince - O2 Arena

Our group of six split into three groups of two sat in various locations throughout the arena; me and Jenny, Debbie and Ricardo and Prim and Michelle. Jenny rang Debbie and after borrowing our neighbours purple feather boa and waving it frantically in the air we soon found her situated on the balcony above and behind us. We then tried the same trick with Prim. Apparently he could see us (who couldn't) but we missed him from way down in front of the stage.

We had our personal fascist security guard giving everyone into trouble for taking pics with our phones so I tried to take a picture of him.

The pre-concert music was lovely, oriental and Russian sounding music reminiscent of sad eastern European films full of peasants and suffering and repressed love.

I like the smell of lavender coming from the purple flowers in my hair.

Prince rises onto the stage with a couple of dancing girls from a trapdoor in the floor appropriately with the expected smoke et al. He opens with a little teaser of "Party like it's 1999" moving into some funky guitar playing - mmm lavender - then starts singing...Tina Turner's "Rolling"? Dylan's "All around the Watchtower"? and the Foo Fighter's "The Best of You". Everyone was tres confused.

Ouch every time I reach into my bra to take an illicit picture from my phone hidden there I pinch the flesh.

Everyone is up dancing at this point not really giving a shit he's playing a series of covers mixed into each other. It sounds great. The wee man then gets a bunch of the audience up to dance on stage. Kudos to the black suited baldy guy with some killer funk moves. Unfortunately the spotlight was taken by a "kinda fly for a white guy" impersonator in what looks like a green knotted hanky on his head and white tracksuit. His moves included a loping "running man" while swinging his arms form side to side. V entertaining though.

Is that Ben Elton on piano? Everyone else exits the stage and this dude plays Louie Armstrong's "Wonderful World". I run for a pit stop. There's two entrances into the loos and the girls on our side are on the ready to run into the next cubicle before the other side do, egging each other on. Literally. It was like a kids game show or something.

When I return Prince is alone on stage behind the piano crooning to the enraptured audience, occasional high squeaking noises emenate from him and he teases about taking his clothes off. Jennifer beside me emits a husky sigh of "oh my god" then she asks wouldn't I love to have Prince sing to me. Have to say I aint tha tway inclined but apparently all the other women, and not a few men, were. Kate Aidee my friend from Jersey would love this.

I get up and jump about to another cover, The Beatles "Come Together" and then Prince declares "Music heals all". Aw that's nice. He again teases the audience by asking whether they want "Sign of the times" and "Raspberry Beret" (I hoot at this) but goes instead into "You are my Girlfriend" which I've never heard of. God I hope he plays Raspberry Bunnet. Ooh then he plays a song that sounds like "Workin a sweat" but it's got interesting UFO noises like wot's in that song by CCS "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above".

Finally a biggie I recognise "Kiss" comes on (I'm desperately awaiting "Get Up") and I find myself making up belly dancing routines. "Purple Rain" closely follows and can kinda see why Jenny was getting all husky earlier although I'm slightly worried by her fist waving close to my face in time with the music. He sings the line ""I never wanted to be your weekend lover" which I found appropriate to my circs but I murmured to myself "it's better than nought". Me and Jen go back to back to do this crazy air guitar solo that is truly brilliant to behold.

This review isn't about technicalities of music or performance but how the wee man made his fan's feel and how good times were had. He performed to all expectations in this regard. But the music was excellent too. As if it wouldn't be.

Now Prince kids on he's away so I run out for another beer but the bar is closed. I rush back just in time for "Raspberry Beret". Yay! (I used to have a raspberry bonnet and I loved it so).He cuts it short to go into "When Doves Cry" and - oh my god the excitement of it all - "I Wanna be your lover" which aforementioned friend Kate Aidee walked down the aisle to.

The concert has turned into a frantic mega mix but it's keeping everyone on their toes and the three hours has passed in no time. Jenny says it was much better than when she's saw him last (Monday!) The gay clich├ęs behind us complain about all the covers he did when he has so many songs but he entertained and the crowd loved it. Non diehard Prince fans like myself benefited as I don't know or particularly like his more obscure things and it was nice to see him performing a range of other popular music throughout the last few decades a la Prince funk stylee.

Monday, 10 September 2007

My First Radio, Their Hearts Are Full Of Spring, Amy Blue, Time.Space.Repeat - The Windmill

“Yeah, thought they were fine”, 'er up north is down for the weekend to visit, so I'm showing her the sights London has to offer. The band on stage sounded like an early Radiohead b-side or Cayto's earlier stuff before they went crap.
IMG_2529
Female drummer, quite skinny, good too and a six-string bass player. One of the guitarists was doing finger picking and had an e-bow dangling off his guitar which we missed him using.

For here we are, at the Windmill in Brixton for God is in the TV presents... G Spot 3: The BBQ. I think its some kind of webzine, the name rings a bell and it probably features highly on some one's radar, not mine though and the crowd seems a bit deseperate to be called a web-community.

The first band don't sound anything like Cayto actually, Cayto had piano, maybe it was El Casio Immunitas.

I'm guessing the band are called Time.Space.Repeat.

Next up is My First Radio, who have completely won me over, they sound like Doves, dark shoegazer, effects pedal laden genius with guitars, although at times I thought the singing was a bit too Oasis, the missus seems to agree. Nice white t-shirts from the lead guitarist and bass player.

Also well worth a mention is the sound engineer woman, who does a sterling job.

“I liked the noise, it was peaceful, I could just close my eyes and lie in my room”

Muse-like as well, would have been good as just an instrumental.

So me and the cockicidal missus are sat in the beer garden round the back whilst bands changeover, eating mostly meat from the barbecue, everything seems to have been marinated in honey, this is well worth the five pounds entry.

Ooh, the dog's still here, tonight confined to his kennel and about half a yard of run, seems happy enough eating barbecue scraps.

Amy Blue on next, another female drummer, with two guitary chaps, a bass player is sorely missing. Vocals are a bit too whiney, but there are some promising guitar bits driving ahead.

A singer explains that their bass player told them at 2pm that he didn't want to do the gig. Personally, if it were my band, I would have pulled out completely rather than soldier on. Its pish, they lack flair and me and the missus were both falling asleep.

The polar opposite of Amy Blue were the next band on, Their Hearts were Full Of Spring, who even before they start had their own flower arranger decking out the mic stands.
IMG_2535
They are a five piece, with the third female drummer of the day, looking less stern than she did at IndieTracks. Wee flapper percussion girl mid-stage, like a gazelle, to her left is the keyboard / violinist and to her right is the baldy eyeliner guitary singing chap, jolly bass player lurking at the back.

“I though they were good” says the missus, sounded a little like Neil from the Divine Comedy, “some good dancing songs, there should have been jazz people shimmying at the front. Nice girl backing vocals brought a summery air, got all the couple cuddling.”

They could be the new young stiff opposition to Belle & Sebastian (or insert other boy-girl singing group)

Four more bands to play, but we've had our fill and peel off to the door, stopping to buy the CD from Their Hearts We Full Of Spring.

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Indelicates, The Video Club, Pocketbooks, Aunty Doubles - Tufnells

The Tuffnel tonight, once again, a quality lineup of bands according to the flyer, no Fiona, wondering how they can ruin this. I'm pretty sure I've seen some of the bands before, IndieTracks, the Buffalo or just around.

The Slender Club's myspace said doors 19:00, its 20:30 now and they're still sound-checking. Ooh, I think the band soundchecking now are on one of the Not Quite Rocket Science podcasts I've been listening to for the past month.

Its always fascinating seeing the ways different bands soundcheck. The Younger Younger 28s' one finger one second effort, The Plimptons pick one song which features all available band members and instruments and play half of it, only as much as needed. The Wolfknuckles rattle though a couple, using the time as a last minute rehearsal, but all finish before the punter arrive. The mobs here just seem a bit half-arsed, doing two or three songs as a formality, finishing sounding the same as they started, no audible mixing desk tweaking.

Why do bands no tune up before they hit the stage, like have some semblance of being prepared.

Christ, first up are Busted, or at least some underage 4-piece who stole Busted's dance moves.

Two guitars, bass, drums and a3-man vox, the trumpet playing from the drummer was a nice touch and neat lead guitar noodles, understated rather than in your face. Once again the soundman did something evil with the bass.

I dunno, the singing sounds a little too sixth form bandy, like Jim Bean in Flyer in the Bolton Academy in '96.

Give them a few years of honing and they could be Vertigo Green for a new generation.

My favourite Busted / McFly song is Hypnotise.

Interesting the way the audience drifted away, they couldn't even muster front standing friends and family.

Crikey, I'm sweating like pig here in my pa's leather jacket, there's gotta be some other way to carry around all my paraphernalia rather than using a handbag, that way lies danger. I'll dig out my old combat pants. God knows how CrystalBall keeps her red indiecoat on in this weather.

Ooh, Jona Wintergreen is here... and his bandmates too, cool.

Pocketbooks
on next, I recognise the barnet from countless other gigs, its nice when people live the music, rather than either contributing or observing.

Two keyboards, quiet guitar, too loud bass, drums, glockenspiel and melodica and boy – girl harmonies. They're either getting better each time I see them, or just more familiar.
Pocketbooks
Great pacing of the set which is a lost art. They're kinda wholesome and nice. The long-necked keyboard chap, nipping out into the crowd during songs to check the sound. Neat melodies, grab you by the hand and take you on a ride.

Like Pete Green the other week, they comment on the sparkly walls, neat gimmick from The Tuffnell management. Oh and something about the Pocketbooks being in The Grimsby Telegraph. Pah, I can still make the Bolton Evening News and I haven't lived there for a decade

Gah, its one of those crowd swapping gigs and for good reason too, whilst The Pocketbooks, my 18 month old niece, my brother and my mum could adore, this next mob, only Alan Wolfknuckle would like and he's 400 miles away. They sound like Edinburgh's The Fnords, apart from there's six of them, 8 foot tall dandy doing time-share vocal duties with a half-hearted shouty girl, Psycho Bob from Idlewild on bass, two guitarists – Buddy Holly and a guy who used to be in The Bates, Ralf Little on drums.
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So percussive are the drums that its making the remaining indiepop kids cry or at least look grumpy. The band are having fun on stage, but its a shocking step change from the other bands.

Am I going deaf or are the vocals really quiet?

Time passes and they evolve into the punk shout rockabilly MJ Hibbett. Not sure what to make of them.

Time passes, until 23:30 and I can't be arsed waiting for the Indelicates to finish setting up. The look kinda cute, but I don't remember seeing them at IndieTracks. Dear readers, if anyone stayed to watch them can you leave a comment about how they were?

Thread
here

Photies
here

Monday, 3 September 2007

Hong Kong in the 60's, Paul Hawkins and thee Awkward Silences, The Gresham Flyers – The Tavistock Hotel

Shopping at Lakeside off the telly with the family, and t was murder driving into town, I would have ditched the car and gotten the underground, but I'd never had gotten the car back. I'm in a bowling alley underneath a hotel, just south of Euston station. The corridor into the venue was a cinema and kits at the door were drawing comic strips.

There are some people here dressed as superheros, well, capes and tin-foil. There's a stage set up adjacent to the bowling lanes and the MC just announced that I'd missed MJ Hibbett.

So on stage next are two seated keyboardists and a standing girl playing a Casiotone VL1, Hong Kong in the 60's, I think I may have missed them playing The Grosvenor the other night.
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Its relaxed twinkly, chilled out indiepop, girl singing sweetly. A superhero themed song that took them three attempts to start properly.

The noise from the bowling lanes is distracting. This would suit a more intimate, dedicated venue, or maybe the jarring effect is intentional.

There are lots of people here who look like Ally Cook, I wonder what band he's in now, its kind of sad the level of underachievement that Dot To Dot achieved.

They swap instruments frequently and there are talented lead guitar noodles, but this group are sickly cutesy, the novelty only covers so much of their amateurishness, they need to ham it up a bit more, polish themselves.

Rather neat art deco / americana stylings at this venue, but its a bit of a mish mash kind of half-finished, all insulated pipework visible on the low ceiling, fixtures and fittings from half a dozen looks and feels.On my way to the bar I actually passed a karaoke booth, in use.

I recognise no one here, not even an MJ Hibbett is visible, apart from the Ally Cook-alike, there's a chap who looks like Tom Snowball, but its clearly not him.

The Flyers are here, should I review them, ignore them, or high horse my sorry ass. Dunno. Whatever come out of my pen when they're on. Why do I do it? Why do I come to these shows? There must be a dozen others I could go to, or stay home and noodle guitar, rather than doggedly trooping out night after night. Sometimes the light shines in such a way I think I'm just a trolling real life form. How can I stop, without just falling silent? That way lies oblivion.

Paul Hawkins and thee Awkward Silences on next, a drummer wearing a Lone Ranger-style mask, violinist in sunglasses, and The Spectre on lead guitar, they crank it up in the garage rock genre for a few minutes before Captain Awkward, their singer, takes to the stage. Its nice, gritty, dirty rock, at times with lead guitar which is both blistering and soaring at the same time.

Rolling, hollered vocals stamped on top, doesn't sound like they're practised much, but even better for that.

Of course, in the film, Jack Black would playCaptain Awkward, stalking round the audience as he sings, preaching whisky drenched sermons.

Before the final act there was a Pop Art Superhero game show thing, won by a young lady, the artist behind Emo Dave, the name rings a bell, I wonder what league its in.

Last orders at the bar passes or possibly the barman dicking about with the lights. I occupy myself by colouring in one of the Emo Dave posters that have been left for colouring in, doing it in blue biro in the Naked Chicks on Post It Notes style. I left my work on the bar in the vague hope that it would be picked up by some kind of art gallery curator, who'd subsequently read this, click on the the nekkid chicks website, recognise my genius and offer me an exhibition.

The Flyers take to the stage. I realise that for most of this review I've been calling them in an abbreviated way rather than by their full name The Gresham Flyers, it could be a cheap gimmick to shoot myself in the foot in google searches. Back in Bolton '95 Jim Bean's band were called Flyer, me and Nosni wrote this song called Dire Flyer, “I woke up on Thursday morning it seemed that the end had come, I knew what was going to be happening that night and it didn't seem like fun”.

The Flyers take to the stage, polished and funky, the sound in here has improved since the earlier bands, although the vox levels could do with being tweaked up a little. Nice “bah bah bah” choruses.

Whilst the drums briefly stutter, Hong Kong in the 60s leave the venue. It gets a little prog on stage, maybe too knowing, I wish I could bounce views off someone.

Fuck it, I was trying so hard, but damn it, they're starting to disappear up their own arses. Damn it. Do something to pull it back!

Time passes and they remain on a steady course. This jury's still out on whether Sharon's yelps contribute positively. The stop-startiness reminds me of My Legendary girlfriend, but without the intellectual backbone that McGazz had. This is richer and more rolling.

Oh, Hong Kong's back... briefly.

Waz's singing fits some songs perfectly, but doesn't quite have the emotional range, Sharon should do more of that sort of thing, kind of like The Validators in reverse.

Parking ought to be a nightmare round here, but it seemed easy. I wonder if my car's been towed.

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