Saturday, March 03, 2007

Los Campesinos! / Sky Larkin / Johnny Foreigner / Kate Goes Birmingham Barfly 2nd March 2007


Gig number 11 (or 12...hell I'm losing count already) saw another foursome bill (see what I did there, four bands...foursome...yep...) starting with Kate Goes. For the record I love Kate Goes. Seriously. I defy anyone to watch them and not feel happier about being alive. Heartbeat...as I've written on more than one occasion is a classic song...up there with whatever you want to put it up there with, Boom Shadilak is genius (kind of Birmingham Hip Hop in places)...goddamit there's just something so right about everything they do. They seem like the nicest people on earth too. Kate Thompson veers between child like innocence and knowing all too much about the human condition. Vocally too she's capable of hard ass screams and soft, sweet melodies (brilliantly supported by Beth, Bird, Joe and Susie). In fact. and I'm going out on a bit of a limb here, if Syd Barrett was a girl in 2007 he would be Kate Thompson. I urge you all to support this band 100%. THEY WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER.

Next up were Johnny Foreigner (also from sunny Birmingham...like Kate Goes...ha...take that Manchester...second city my arse) who were super, smashing and, indeed, great. Lead male Johnny did lots of thrashing around and reminded me (vocally speaking anyway) of the chappie out of Bromheads Jacket. Musically they're all spiky/punky bits with punchy chords and rather impresive drumming from Johnny drummer. Female Johnny added an ace counterpoint (yes, that's counterpoint...I think it means she made a good contrast with the male vocals....but then I could be wrong...it could be something to do with industrial steamcleaning) too. All in all a mightily impressive set from yet another great local band.

Not quite so local, but also ace, were Sky Larkin. Kind of like Pattie Smith on the 'erb or Sophie Ellis Bextor (when she was in The Audience...great band...what happened there?) crossed with early Orange Juice (the band...not the vitamin C orientated beverage). Keepsakes is a plinky plonky (second use of the phrase plinky plonky in this review...) organ driven humdinger (god, where did that come from?) and Molten hits a really great beat mid song before breaking into an indieish thrash.

Headliners Los Campesinos! are, lest you forget, one of my tips for the top in 2007 and tonight they fulfilled their promise by the bucket load. They're a bit like having a dozen cool mates come round your house, turn off your CD player (or MP3 if you're down with 'da yoot') screaming "we can do better than that" and then proving that they can by delivering tune after tune of uplifting, harmony stuffed anthems. If you love Arcade Fire but wish they had a bit more oooomph Los Campesinos! are the band you've been waiting for. Or, as the band put it on their My Space site, it's just pop music and, when it's this great, that's a good enough description for me. The fact that Mrs Baron and I ended the evening by beating each other round the head with Los Campesinos! balloons from the sheer glee of it all (the Strongbow had nothing to do with it) says a lot for how good this evening really was.

One has to question why people are wiling to fork out £800 for a Take That ticket when you can get to see four ace bands for a fiver but there we are. So far this year I have been blown away by how many excellent bands there are out there. No one has pissed me off with a half arsed set, the standard of 'muscianship' has been pretty brilliant and the sort of bills that local promoters are putting on are hard to fault. Sunday evening sees me risking my life, sanity and lower limbs at a gig by new punk sensations Gallows. Wish me luck...

4 comments:

alexei said...

hey thank you for the kind words..

Ben said...

Glad to see Cardiff's finest going down well around the UK...

The Baron said...

Hi Alexei,

No probs! Thanks for a great night. Hope to see you again soon.

The Baron said...

Hi Ben,

Yep, they deserve all the press they're getting at the moment. Can you imagine how well they're going to go down during festival season too? Glasto here we come (if any of us can get a ticket of course...)