After making a concerted effort I'm starting to get much more of a feel for the 'local' music scene nowadays. There's some really good stuff out there and these nights are a much needed showcase in a decent venue. I can personally vouch for Mr Derry on 14th September and the glorious Reverie Strings on 5th October as particular highlights in the calendar.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Brite Lights / Prospect Lane / The Policy / Guile The Rainbow Digbeth Friday 31st August 2007
Thanks to some last minute changes to my 'hectic' 'social' 'life' I managed to fit in a third visit to Kamikaze!'s Club 444. Judging by the healthy crowds it's all going rather well and the vibe seems a lot more positive than some of the local music nights I've been to over the years. Tonight was kicked off by Guile, a fairly new band (just over year old) from sunny Cannock (they have a 'Chase' there I believe...nope, I have no idea either) with a cool line in Doors-y stoner rock. When they hit their stride on tracks like How Long it all comes together really well. A tad nervous at first they seemed to relax more as the gig went on. As they're gigging like bastards over the next few months I can only see them getting stronger. Whilst Guile hid their musical light under a bushel a little, The Policy had no such fear. Despite the fact that the lead singer looked like he'd just come straight from work (I'm sure he had his work suit on) he put on the most energetic performance of the night. The Policy reminded me a little of some of the bands that were around in the late 80's (Cutting Crew springs to mind). A bit of synth, choppy guitars (their guitarist seemed rather good to me), keen vocals...you know the kind of thing. Despite...or maybe because of the work suit...I rather enjoyed it. The proof of the pudding? At one point lead Policy (a chappie called Chris Hayden) asked the crowd if the night had been worth the £4 so far. There were a fair number of positive responses - including mine. Next up were Prospect Lane (pictured)- one of the better bands around in Birmingham at the moment in my humble opinion. Despite having a bit of a mare with technology, microphone leads, keyboards, beer bottles...they still put on a fine performance. Lady Baron fancies the lead singer too...so it's all good. I'd probably lose the cover version though (Alice Deejay's Better Off Alone) as their own material is a hell of a lot stronger. The last track they played (Isolation) really is a cracker (ya gotta love that vocoder) and I have high hopes for them. That just left Brite Lites. As polished as you'd expect a band to be after supporting INXS in the Symphony Hall...hang on...INXS...Michael do dah...fist of fury and all that...surely he's, well, dead. Oh well. Clearly you can't keep a good man down. Anyway, the Lites have the same kind of anthemic quality that the Manics have (listen to This Town in particular)and echoes of early Stereophonics (More Life in a Tramps Vest era). Fans of either band will love 'em.