Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Rumble Strips / The Answering Machine Birmingham Academy 2 Tuesday 16th October 2007

In an uncanny rerun of the last time I saw them (29th November 2006) the mighty Rumble Strips were again supported by Manchester's The Answering Machine. I remember liking them last time and the intervening months have seen them become a fair bit sharper. A bit Bloc Party in places, a touch Arcade Fire in others and even some Los Campesinos (check out Silent Hotels...sounds a bit like You! Me! Dancing!) but all whipped up with a fine artpop sensibility (whatever one of them is). I tipped them as ones to watch in 2007 and lo...they've been picked up by Regal records (as well as being played by 'Zane' 'Lowe') who release the mighty Lighbulbs in November. Yay.

Yay again for the blessed Rumble Strips...

...who art in Devon (sometimes, cos they come from there)

Forgive us for not buying your records by the bucket load

As we forgive those who still listen to Oasis

Thine should be the glory

Forever and ever

Ahhhhh when?

It strikes me that if Charlie Waller and co snorted dead babies or pretended to be from the streets the music press would be all over 'em. After all, what's not to love? Soulful voices, simple but heartfelt lyrics and brass...lots of brass. Tonight , as on the previous few times I've seen them, they were on sparkling form. Every track honed to perfection after a good year or two on the road. And yet the gig (in the Academy 2) wasn't sold out. Oh well. Last time I reviewed them I promised to eat Charlie's hat if they didn't 'make it' this year. Well I suppose they have, sort of. The album's out, they're playing slightly bigger venues and slowly more and more folk are being converted. So Charlie's hat is safe...for now. It would be great if they could just get that difficult second album out next year. Here's hoping.

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