Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shiny Toy Guns / Neon Plastix / Trailer / Sevenball - Barfly Birmingham Monday 23rd July 2007

Monday night gigs. Proper hardcore. In fact I reckon that Monday's are the new Friday...or is that Thursday? Anyway, onto the matter in hand. La musica. Das musique. Der tunes. And tonight had a fair old selection. Four quality bands kicking off with Sevenball, a really strong blues rock group that, vocally especially, reminded me of Pearl Jam in places. Musically they're mining a much deeper seam than that though, with some licks that the Zep would be proud of and a undercurrent of old school country with some nice slide guitar here and there. It's easy to do this style of music and make it sound a little tired, but Sevenball nailed it for me and would be worthy headliners on a more rock based bill than this one. They like John Martyn too...and John Martyn is godlike. The rest of the bands had more of a synthy vibe going on, starting with Trailer all the way from Coventry, which seems to be going through a bit of a purple (or should that be sky blue...that's the only thing I know about football by the way) patch now in terms of music. Blending the thumping beats of Underworld with the anthemic kind of tracks that Kasabian bang out together with a bit of Liam swagger, Trailer seem to have a whole album's worth of tracks that deserve your ears (ears meet Trailer, Trailer meet go get a room). 'Set the Country on Fire' in particular has the kind of energy and positivity that I've not really heard since the glory days of Asian Dub Foundation. Ace. They gave out free CD's at the end too...which always gets my vote. Hot on their heels came Doncaster disco house gods Neon Plastix. Chuff me I love this band. Pulp meets the Klaxons in a house party and get pissed up on cheap red wine. Gentlemans Gold has that brilliant synth guitar thing that Classix Nouveux had going on (ask your grandads). Singer Patrick performed this track in the audience, with a lucky few being allowed to press the buttons on his sampler, kicking off the vocal samples whilst the rest of the band played live on stage. My new favourite group? Could be.
That just left Shiny Toy Guns. Cue the dry ice...lot's of it (see the picture above). It's a measure of this band's ambitions I reckon...the more dry ice the bigger the band will be. Legend has it that they tour like motherfuckers and have built a loyal fanbase a la Arctic Monkeys (ie using My Space). Rock electronica with shades of MCR and even PSB (that's My Chemical Romance and Pet Shop Boys...or is that just me?) they're set for stadiums...and deservedly so. It's nice to have a band with strong female and male vocals, add strong dance beats, live drums (drummed by a very blokey sort of chap sporting a rather nice line in shocking pink eye shadow) and lyrics that should have emo kids snogging new ravers all over the shop and you've got a potent mix. Full marks for a sublime cover of Depeche Mode's 'Stripped' by the way. So there you go. Monday really is the new Friday. Work? Pah! What better way to start your week than a blues/rock/disco/emo/synth/Blackthorn fuelled party? (my thanks must go out to the lovely bar lady who served me throughout the night too...they really are a nice bunch at the Barfly).

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