Sunday, 24 February 2008

Pete Green, Pocketbooks, The Parallelograms, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Betsey Trotwood

Nowt to do for a Saturday so I wandered into town for a bit of exercise and trekked along to Farringdon. Of course, I got to the venue about three hours early, so I wandered up the Road to Kings Cross and picked up a Flashman novel to read over a beer.

I'd forgotten how much I love George MacDonald Fraser, Flashy's a bit of a role model I guess. Some West Ham-based trouble breaks out in the pub, I slip out just as four police minibuses and half a dozen police cars arrive. They send in a pack of police dogs, I'm sure that'll diffuse the situation.

Time passes and I head along to the gig. Its a quaint looking place, Thor and Ladybug from Not Quite Rocket Science outside, we say hey, and inside its even more of a who's who. Trev Lost and Tom SoundsXP at the bar, the word is its going to be a bit crowded downstairs. Atomic Beat folk wandering about, MJ Hibbett materialises, beer is consumed. Topical ales include Bishop's Finger, which was nice, Kent's Best, which was okay, and Spitfire which is bogging or it could have been the Red Bull I'd been guzzling all day in lieu of food, its turned my tastebuds.

Lo! It is crowded downstairs, I get in earlish and find myself near the front. The basement is like catacombs, it is The Bards Tale, sunken booths, whitewashed walled and zombies.

Pete Green on first, it takes a few songs to get the levels right, and his guitar, tonight without layers of gaffertape sounds different to usual. Its a friendly performance in a room full of friends.

Hearing "Best British Band Supported by Shockwaves" for the first time was pretty neat, incrowd references and stuff made it. Maybe there are important questions about the nature of sponsorship in popular music which need to be addressed, not now mind. Its warm and gentle tonight.

Gah, no photies from me for this review, whilst my camera is nestled in my pocket, its battery is many miles away become charged. There are plenty of other folk with cameras and I think a chap from Dandelion Radio is taping the show for the internet.

Atomic Beat have the stage times pinned to the walls all over the place which is nice. At some point in the future it'll be square and too formal and not punk enough, but right now, its neat and appreciated. Fag break? Sure, plenty of time.

Pocketbooks on next, sounds better than last time, that show at the Enterprise. Birthday girl singer Emma fluffs her lines a few times, but they pull it off with good grace, Andy nodding to the Dandelion Radio guy he can edit it out later.

They still come over as the finely aimed bastard sons (and daughter) of Belle and Sebastian and Camera Obscura, with, I reckon, a sprinkling of the Lightning Seeds's perfect pop.

Ian the slightly new guitar player is settling into his role better, but they ought to prod the sound engineer a bit more.

As I sribble this review on the train home, a gentleman behind me says "His heart was as strong as an ox".

Last time I saw The Parallelograms was DSFAR in Nottingham just before Christmas, I was coming down with than flu that was going round and not in the best of moods. Some bloke I'd known for years barged me out of his way at the back of the crowd, and no one I knew saw me. I barely made it hom alive, let alone write up a coherent review of the bands that wouldn't get me banned from computer keyboards everywhere.

Ooh they have a standing up drummer, the guitar chap is a little drunk and the singing girl reminds me of Angelica when they're not rocking out. Its an awkward fit, teenage girl vocals and noisy guitar rock, but they pull it off with humour and single chord rock endings.

Single out on Atomic Beat Records, available in the foyer.

All the bands playing tonight roughly begin with the letter P. Its like Seasame Street, but with Anoraks instead of puppets.

I find myself stood at the back for the final band, mulling over ideas, ideas. For my final post here on LNFGIES I write about the first gig I ever went to, post all the songs I've ever recorded and I've got a few ideas for threads/indie concepts: cover version tennis, writing songs for other people, and never playing the same songs live twice.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, current doyennes of Anorak, they're very good, nice reverb on the vox and organy keyboards. Realy embracing stuff. I'm stood at the back, girl who looks familiar from Glasgow at 11 o'clock, names to faces all around, avoid eye contact. Avoid.

The Pains have this song with the refrain 'We will never die', the drums, maybe even the key, remind me of the mighty Roses' 'I am the Ressurrection'. The refrains have similar meanings.

As I trek home, I'm thinking More of that sort of thing.

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