I'll cover the overarching LNFGIES narrative later in the review, just be patient.
I wandered into the pub to see Ken from The Red Bulldozers getting a big jug cocktail with three straws for rapid consumption, on the telly the Netherlands just scored against France, and a few minutes later, outside, I meet my friend Paul from the Martial Arts, who bears news that world domination is one step closer, The Plimps were played on Radio Six earlier, just after The School (download snatch MP3 here)
Inside the venue, The Voluntary Butler Scheme is on stage, an array of keyboards and synths and half a drum kit obscuring a lone floppy haired chap doing warm and tender tunes, sounding a little bit one man bandish, especially when he pulls out a uke and a kazoo.
Okay, at first I wasn't so taken, but the last few songs were pure genius with a loop pedal. Some folk do loop pedals badly, but VBS is this century's answer to Beck, but dub, comedy, novelty and blues. Elements of White Town maybe, and judicious use of novelty toy effects.
The last song was brilliant, the throbbing blues run through, with the devil in the oven and a droning bass around the 5Hz bowel loosening frequency which will never be audible on MP3 or your iPod headphones.
Chatting with Paul about the next steps in world domination, persuading Londonish promoters to take them onboard perhaps. The room is filling up, folk off of the internet are nearby and the Wee Pop gang are in the room.
Saturday Looks Good To Me on next, a wee bit too loud and the mix was a bit off when we stood at the back, but Paul dragged me into the warm embrace of the music at the front. A three piece guitar/keyboards band, wholesom and much like you'd expect a Hefner support act to be.
Sorry to be a pain, but a few songs in, I noticed something which probably happens all the time, but here its one of two overwhelming things I noticed during the set. The guy singing rests his nose on the microphone. Look out for it if you ever see Saturday Looks Good To Me. Like I've seen singers jam the mic into their gobs, but I've never noticed the nose thing. The next song they played after I noticed this bears heavily the phrase '...everybody nose...'
The second overwealming thing of the thing, was nothing to do with the band, I was glancing about the stage, how although it was raise, there were steps leading downwards to it, I don't know why, but it reminded me of The Cathouse in Glasgow. And I remembered the last time I was there, Nastily was my companion and there was chaos in the shadows. We'd just been to see 300 and it was the start of our relationship.
All ages ago now, and miles away.
Darren Hayman and Jack Hayter take to the stage to play Hefner songs. Regular and dedicated readers of this blog will already be familiar with my previous Darren Hayman reviews here and here, there's a bit of a continuing narrative.
I stand near the front blocking the view of the folk behind, and although I there are many fine songs, I don't engage. I recognise the odd song, but this is essentially a Hefner greatest hits set, for the fans, for the folk who saw them countless times and bought countless EPs and albums. The sing along and notice when Darren forgets his lines, they cheer when he plays their favourite songs.
After the show, there was to be a How Does It Feel club night, but most of the crowd wander off, and whilst some stick around nursing their drinks, they too drift away until the DJ kills the music, and there are less than a dozen souls left.
To my right is Paul from the Martial Arts and his friends, and to my left are some friends off of the internet and the girl.
The Voluntary Butler Scheme
Saturday Looks Good To Me