It was ball shrinkingly cold, which could explain the lack of a crowd for what was, in my humble opinion, one of the hottest gigs of the year so far. After all both Elle S'appelle and Go Faster>>> have been tipped for great things and local boys Sunset Cinema Club are darn fine. We got to the venue at around 7.30 (knowing it was going to be an early start) and seemed to be the only people there. Happily the folk in charge had moved the gig to the 'back room' and a steady flow of hardy explorers (those of us who had braved the sub zero temperatures) enjoyed an intimate show with three cracking (I've gone all Wallace there...I'm tired...it's been a long life) bands. First off Sunset Cinema Club. I don't think I've seen them before, certainly not in the days of the 'Aid...and I'm fairly sure I'd remember them as they were a gloriously shouty, twitchy, power pop treat. They've been compared to The Pixies and I can see the link, but they've got a funkier edge...shades of early A Certain Ratio perhaps. Sunday Best is a brilliant track, bloody brilliant...I particularly liked the cheeky wink to Duran Duran's Girls on Film at the start. Nice. It's great to see a band that obviously enjoy performing as much as I enjoyed watching them. The three voices worked really well together too. With Jonny Foreigner (a band with a similar feel) starting to really break into a wider audience, SCC should, could and will be next. Cos I say so. There, I got through the whole review without mentioning the fact that they're named after an old porn cinema...nothing wrong with that, I like old porn...not granny porn...that's just wrong...oh dear...I'll stop there...
Next up, with added >>>...Go Faster>>>from Liverpool>>>which is Capital of Culture 2008>>>after beating Birmingham...I forgive them. Brilliantly blending the classic pop of bands like Bis, XTC and The Inspirals with shades of Maths rock superstars in waiting, Foals, Go Faster>>>thrashed about on stage with enough energy to bring me out in a sweat (which, considering the cold, was some achievement). On She Starts Monday I actually thought the drummer was going to drum right through the floor into the earth's core itself. Fast, furious stuff. Again, as with SCC, the vocal interplay was spot on. It's so hard to get this right, but Go Faster>>>go for broke and...er...strike it rich (mixed metaphors...I love 'em). The in between song banter was class too...from Kerry Katona porn to melting Heather Mills' leg and on to obscure references from Only Fools and Horses (Garrrry?)...now that's a set and half.
Finally, Elle S'appelle, who, quite rightly have been tipped for big, big things by people with taste. One catchy tune after another, sweetness and light one minute, achingly honest lyrics and heart ripping vocals the next...Andy and Lucy's voices just work so well together. A few years back I saw an equally special band called Dogs Die In Hot Cars (RIP), and Elle S'appelle have a similar strength. Let's hope that this time the people of Britain wake up and stop buying one fucking X factor single after another AAAAAAAGGGHHH! These are proper tunes you can listen to again and again and find new bits in, clever little chord changes, fruity keyboard flourishes. Just take a listen to Little Flame, She Sells Sea Shells, Mariappa....just gorgeous pop loveliness. Je suis d'amore.
Gig of the year so far.