Saturday, November 11, 2006

Luke Haines / Lisa Lindley Jones Birmingham Bar Academy Wednesday 8th November 2006

Wasn't sure what to expect tonight. Knew we'd be in an acoustic kind of place - and we were. Opener Lisa Lindley Jones had a smokey sort of voice that made you want to drink a bottle of Shiraz and puff on a big fat Havana whilst fanning yourself with a dog eared copy of Down and Out in London and Paris by George Orwell. Gentle, but good.

Saw Luke Haines back in the day (early 90's) supporting The The according to Lady Baron. Loved the 'big' single Lenny Valentino and the soundtrack to Christy Malry...but haven't followed Luke's career as much as it probably deserved to be followed. That's the problem with being a musical whore. If you like one band, or indeed, 'scene' it's quite easy to keep up. If you're into anything from The Big Bang to Phil Ochs, The Associates to Frank Zappa or System of a Down to Bessie Smith...(yes my i-pod has a serious identity crisis) it's a tricky business.I'm sure the last time I saw a picture of Mr Haines he was a fairly skinny kind of chap with blonde hair. Tonight he had morphed into that bloke from the Thin Blue Line and Four Weddings and a Funeral (no, not Rowen Atkinson, the other one, with the receding hairline who marries one of the know). This has nothing to do with the music of course, but he does look rather different.

As an acoustic set I felt that some of the songs suffered a little and his vocal delivery (more a kind of menacing whisper) really benefits from having some backing (either other musicians or vocalists). He is also rather well read. So if you're not up on everything from child killers to Marxist theory some of the meaning of the songs can be lost a little. But, that being said, I rather enjoyed the set and , for an artist who once jumped off a 15ft wall (breaking both legs) just to get off finishing a US tour, he seemed to enjoy himself too. Luke Haines - demented genius who deserves far more success than he gets but is probably quite happy where he is.

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