Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fillmore Gears / Prospect Lane / Smart Soutane / A chappie with a beard who didn't tell us his name Bar Academy Friday 9th March 2007


Slightly hungover and in the grip of a nasty attack of the plague I made my way to the Bar Academy to catch one of the weekly Rise (up and coming local bands) events. Doors were due to open at 8pm so, being the good little boy that I am, I duly arrived on time. There were a few others loitering around when we got there. The time ticked by...members of various bands came out and went back in again...and the time ticked by...years passed, centuries even...mankind evolved and became one giant brain...still the doors remained closed. I exagerate (slightly), it appears that the 'doorman' hadn't turned up and they couldn't open the doors until he did. In my weakened state I decided to go home and eat a kebab instead. I even got as far as the bus stop but then decided that wussing out just 'cos I felt like death wasn't very rock and/or roll. So I returned to the music hungry masses waiting outside. By the time I got back someone had decided to pretend to be a doorman and we were all allowed in. Hurrah!

As the entire gig was now running a trifle late (so late in fact that the custard on top of the trifle had started to go off...) the first artist was already on when we got upstairs. Very good he was too. Male singer songwriter with a really strong voice playing slightly bluesy material. Pity most of the audience were ignoring him. Their loss. I'm afraid I didn't get his name (or maybe he didn't want us to know...perhaps he is a spy in real life...that's it...yes...a singer songwriter spy who woos his lades with his lush voice and mysterious beard). Seriously though I really enjoyed his set so if you know who he is/was let me know so I can link him (unless he really is a spy...).

Next up were Smart Soutane. A new name to me. They've got some cracking tunes but I think they were having some trouble with the monitors tonight 'cos the vocals were a little off in places (it can't have helped rushing on just 2 seconds after Mr Mysterious had finished). Musically the set was very strong, a bit Housemartin-y in places, a little alt-country-ish in others.

Prospect Lane were next. Regular readers will know that I rated them just a few weeks ago when they supported Ghosts and they were just as good this time round. They're able to carry off quite a wide range of different material really well. From the slightly Moddish / Oi! 'Fickle' to the more moody stuff like Ghosts (the track this time, not the band...reminds me a bit of Geneva...the 90's band, not the place...confused yet?).

Headliners Fillmore Gears appear to be doing more gigs than I am at then moment (and all I have to do is stand there tapping my foot like a middle aged lothario). Godammit they put on a damn fine display of classic, rifftastic blues rock. Lead Gear Pete even sounded a little (dare I say it...oh what the hell) like a younger Sir Robert Of Plantingham. Damn fine guitar from Mak, solid bass and drumming from Dave and Andy...if you're looking for an ace band to add to the list of great current Birmingham rock acts (I'm thinking acts like the Big Bang and Coptor here), Fillmore Gears are worthy peers (no, not piers, you're just being silly again). With the success of a band like Wolfmother, Fillmore Gears have a really good chance of making it. Constant gigging is the secret with music like this. And that's just what they're doing. The reputation will spread, the band will gel as tight as a gnats chuff (?) and with a bit of luck Birmingham will have some new Rock Gods. Hell yeah!

5 comments:

Silver-Footed Thetis said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one as didn't get that first bloke's name. Or that gets annoyed by them not opening the sodding doors. Or the inability to sort the sound out ever.

Sorry. I'll stop now. :)

The Baron said...

Helllooo Silver,

I know, it's a pain in the ass. I've found the best place to stand in The BA is with your ear pressed aginst one of the the speakers...about halfway down the stack. You can't hear a great deal but the vibrations are good...

Silver-Footed Thetis said...

actually i saw a brakes gig there from about that position. i wondered why it was that good.

hehehe.

The Baron said...

Stop it...you'll bring out the Julian Clary in me...

Silver-Footed Thetis said...

*must not make joke about fanny the wonder dog*

bugger.