Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Officers / The Priory Barfly Birmingham Saturday/Sunday 21st / 22nd April 2007

After the delights of Reverie Strings and Miles Hunt (see the review below) we decided to stay behind for indie / electro night We Get Kicks. In between the DJ played a selection of hits from as long back as was interesting watching the crowd of mainly 30 somethings reliving their youth and dancing around like it was...well...1989. That's the power of music. You can bet yer bottom dollar that anyone who's 18 and reading this ( could happen? They might've strayed here thinking it was some kind of hip music blog with it's twitchy finger on the nuclear button of all that's great in music...mock ye not) will find themselves in some nightclub called Raverz in 2027 bopping away to the golden hits of The Klaxons and moaning about music not being like it was back in the noughties. Anyway, there is a point to all this. As soon as the DJ stopped the music and the Priory came on the vast majority of the audience left. Why? Why oh why are we supposed to just like music made when we're 18? I've seen it loads of's why you rarely get old duffers at gigs by new bands and why so many promoters find it hard to get people along for what are, often, great nights. If it was ok for John Peel to nurse a pale ale as he enjoyed some dub reggae soundclash from Death Monkey Jizz, it's okay for the rest of us. If you're over 30 and reading this go along to a local night this week and if you don't enjoy I'll refund double the difference (LEGAL NOTE: this offer only applies to one legged residents of Papua New Guinea and may be withdrawn at any time for any spurious reason...but you get the point).

Right, after another Grolsch or two we took advantage of the £1 bottles of Carling (gas-tastic) and hooked ourselves to the front barriers for a dose of The Priory. A splendid mix of plinky keyboards, lush synths, pounding drums, driving guitar and distinctive vocals, The Priory's music has a lot more to it than their image might suggest. Ask Yourself is just gagging to be a hit (gagging I say), but a much slower track like Reaction hints at the fact that this band thinks as much as it (yes...he's going to do it...musical cliche ahoy) Actually, now here's a thought, Never Changes has a nice string opening that may, or may not, have been done on a 'COMPUTA'. Why not hook up with the Strings (from Reverie Strings)? Hmmm. Anyway, I really liked The Priory even more than I expected too...check yourself in as soon as you get the chance (as ever, did you see what I did there? The Priory? Check in? Like in the Priory where Pete D keeps going? Oh alright then...).

The Officers marched (they didn't really but that would've been a nice touch) onto the stage at around 12.30am...just as I was tucking into another Carling (no bouncing around for me then). Straighoutta Leeds, they have the same bowel shaking electro power as Evil Heat era Primal Scream with a cheeky dash of Kasabian. Despite a meagre audience and some young folk who kept screaming that the keyboard player wasn't playing his keyboard (which the lead singer handled quite brilliantly by handing the pesky imps his microphone and giving them the chance to make fools of themselves) they put on a stirring performance. With a bigger crowd, more exposure for the material and the synths a bit more up in the mix they'll be a formidable live draw. They're back at the Barfly on 27th May and I can heartily recomend that you join them. Check out SWR Home for an immediate idea of what you're in for.

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