Saturday, November 17, 2007
Guile / The Hoi Polloi / Blisst / Telegramme The Rainbow, Digbeth Friday 16th November 2007
Despite being cold enough to freeze mercury, the inside of the Rainbow courtyard-y bit was as hot as a sumo wrestlers inner thigh...after finishing a marathon...at the height of summer...wearing PVC (this was all thanks to what can only be described as a jet engine just by the stage). Into this heat we were delivered (see what I did there?) Telegramme. They have accents over the first two e's...all French like...but I can't get them to work in Blogger...'cos I'm inept. Lead 'gramme Faye has a belter of a voice which worked particularly well on the rockier tracks. It's refreshing to hear strong female vocals. There are far too few lady fronted bands around I say. I blame the EU. Musically the 'gramme have some blistering choruses, some cooool quiet loud quiet bits and...what I really liked, something that added that extra zing...some synthy keyboard noodlings on a couple of tracks. This is because I am, at heart, a gay synth boy. Blisst are clearly anything but gay synth boys. They were a revelation though. A huge wall of guitars, throbby PiL style bass, hints of vintage Verve, echoes of Radiohead and, on the more leftfield side, touches of Labradford and some of the old school Krautrock bands. Lyrically and vocally they're pretty sophisticated too, working much better live than on their My Space tracks. It's music that needs to be heard live in fact. It's quite tricky to get that kind of hypnotic rock sound right but, for my money, Blisst nailed it. Impressive stuff from a local band that deserves far more attention. Next the Hoi Polloi. I didn't envy them having to follow Blisst but the Polloi have their own unique take on stirring anthemic rock that more than stood its ground. They clearly put their heart and soul into every track and seem to be deservedly winning a strong loyal following. I did enjoy the joke midway through the set too...no I'm not repeating it. Go and see them next time and maybe lead Polloi, James, will tell it again. Finally, and for the second time in a month, Guile. They seem to be growing in confidence each time I see them and capped off a strong night of local rock in fine style. I've said it once...and I'll say it again...they have a real 'soundtrack' element to the music that evokes all kinds of shit...dusty highways that go on forever, rattlesnakes, run down motels in the middle of nowhere, ladies with cheap tats, hazy sunsets...pour me a Jack D and I'm right there.