It all kicked off on the seafront...as it should do really...with the wonderfully named Eternal Erection. Fronted by a larger than life character called Rick Lover, they're a glorious band that put the F - U - N back into FUNK. Purists may scoff, but hey, I'm a music whore. Next up was one of these new fangled text message 'street' gigs. Peggy Sue and The Pirates in a Toy Museum. It was hotter than hell in there and all I could see was the back of a someone's head, but it all sounded bloody good. As I 'writted' before they're (two girls...not really pirates after all...swizz) a lovely mix of Kate Nash and Regina Spector...or a chav Lily Allen as the programme referred to them as. Onwards and upwards to Peter Van Poel. French singer songwriter. Nice but, well you know, difficult to stand out...unlike 586. Bloody loved 'em. Kind of a Flying Lizards for the 21st century in places, or a bastardised version of the 'Are You Being Served' theme tune (oh I really should do this for a living). Anyway, please listen to them, especially Money Is The Drug and We Got Bored (love the screamy bit in this one). Lush. Still with me? Good. Les Breastfeeders (pictured) were up next. French Canadian garage punk. Sound good on record but many times better live. Mainly due to the guy in the sheepskin waistcoat who looked like he was going to pass out / away at any minute...and they gave me a beer. Result! Fans of The Hives will love 'em.
After scooting across town we managed to get in to see The Foals. I raved about them at The Sunflower Lounge and they were just as good this time round. Playing in a much bigger venue it wasn't quite as special, but then I'm just being a fussy bastard. Post Rave Artrock/Math Rock / Whateveryouwanttocallit Rock for people who want to dance in that kind of strange twitchy way that Ian Curtis made all his own.
Right...Gallows...this is where it got a bit messy. I love this band. They're one of the few groups who you can imagine dying for their music. Not in a Kurt Cobain 'blow your own head off 'way, but in a kind of 'if you try to stop us it's a case of us or you' kind of way. Yes, they're hardcore punk. Yes Frank has more tats than most people have hot dinners, but he seems a genuinely decent, passionate bloke. As I've said before...REAL. And in a world of Celebrity Size Zero Super Hidden Camera Make Me A Camel Factor, that is a rare and beautiful thing. Seriously. So, anyway, on they come. There are some 14 photographers in front of a 4ft barrier separating us from the band, plus three or four 'security' dudes. Now, Frank's a hands on kind of guy. Their music is there to be experienced as well as listened to. Almost every shot you see of him, he's right there in the crowd. So, naturally he doesn't like barriers. The gig kicks off and Steph, Frank's brother, gets knocked out (it seemed to be by one of the other guitarists...by acccident obviously). Blood spurts out of his head. He's carried off. Frank runs off to the side to check the damage and we all fear / expect that the gig will come to a swift end. But no. In seconds Steph is back, a makeshift dressing keeping his skull together.
Frank comes to the edge of the stage and tells us his bro is okay, but will need a trip to A & E afterwards...now that's dedication. Frank eyes the photographers, barrier and security. '14 cameramen, security guards, a barrier...but that doesn't have to stop you from joining us up here on stage' (the crowd cheers). 'DOES IT?!' (more cheeering). The next song starts. Now, don't ask me why...it was just the moment I guess, but I knew I had to try to get up there on stage. Normally I wouldn't dream of invading a band's space, but tonight it almost felt like disrespect to not try to get up there. One other brave (foolhardy?) soul tried across the other side of the room and was taken down before he'd cleared the barrier. So, taking a deep breath and mustering as much energy as I could I vaulted the barrier (that could've gone oh so wrong) and lept onto the stage. Within about 2 seconds the inevitable happened. Security. Arms up the back. Marched downstairs and kicked out. Lady Baron found all this hilarious / cool at the same time. I'm still undecided. It appears that after I left Frank (who lept in to the crowd again just as I got onto the stage) asked 'Did someone just get up here?' 'Yeah' said one of the band 'but the fucking security dragged 'em off again'. 'In that case' said Frank 'I'm gonna play every song...twice' (crowd cheers some more). I sit outside for a couple of songs then wait for the security guard to turn his back and stroll back in again. I think it's what Frank would've wanted...
Coming soon...DAY TWO!