Saturday, December 09, 2006

Misty's Big Adventure / ZX Spectrum Orchestra Glee Club Birmingham Wednesday 6th December 2006

Jingle Bells indeed. With the time of Yule fast approaching the lovely BBC gifted us with a freebie gig at the Glee Club, during which they recorded a show for The Freak Zone (6 Music) hosted by Staurt Maconie. Actually it was less of a gig and more of an old school Radio One roadshow in parts with some character called The Professor delivering a 'lecture' on Serge Gainsbourg, supported by lovely clips of the old devil himself perving over young girls.

In terms of live music the ZX Spectrum Orchestra kicked things off in typically freakish style. Part of the Modified Toy Orchestra, Mike in Mono and other ecentric, electric 'groups', they make music using, yes, you've guessed, it Commodore 64's. No. I jest. ZX Spectrums. I'm so old that I actually had a ZX Spectrum, 16K as I recall. The only sounds mine made was some kind of fax noise whilst I sat and waited 15 minutes for Hungry Horace Goes Skiing to load from a tape...a tape I tells ya...only to get to the last 10 seconds for the whole thing to crash. But I digress (emotionally scarred, moi?). The Orchestra (two blokes in reality) are actually very good. It's strange how 'computer' music still sounds like something from the future, even though it ain't. A kind of Dr Who of the music world...

Anyway, next up, and finally, we were treated to a short but sweet set by the magnificent Misty's Big Adventure. I keep trying to remember when I first saw them. At The Flapper & Firkin back in the late '90's I think, when Erotic Volvo wore a Doctor's coat with surgical gloves stuck on it. If you haven't seen them, that last statement won't make any sense. Good. Shame on you. They are one of the greatest groups in British music, up there with the Bonzos, Pulp and Haysi Fantazee...have you ever heard John Wayne is Big Leggy? A sizable chunk of the audience was frugging (it's like dancing, only fruggier) like mad tonight to a set that, as ever, was strewn, nay littered (it's happening again, I've come over all Frankie Howerd...I had to be very careful how I typed that) with classic songs. I still love The Wising Up Song most of all, mainly 'cos it sounds like a cross between Frank Zappa, German Caberet and a bus full of brass instruments falling off a cliff. It ends with a tale of a man who tries to move a mountain using a spoon. I won't spoil the pay off line for you, but it beats the hell out of 'lil Chris any day (aww bless I can hear you saying, leave him won't...he scares me...and his new record sounds like a bastardised version of The Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen in Love).

Anyway, to cut a long rambling review short, Misty's were excellent as ever, as you can all hear by listening to The Freak Zone, BBC 6 Music (some new fangled digital thing) on Sunday 10th December..sometime...I don't know when...what do you think this is, the freakin' Radio Times?

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