Saturday, February 09, 2008

This Love Affair / Liner / The Lionhearts / Fix Monday / News Street Adventure The Rainbow, Digbeth Friday 8th February 2008

Greetings. Welcome once more to the fully Sharia compliant Hearing Aid Kamikaze! review. We've got a lot to get through this week...5...count 'em...5 bands for a mere £4. Now that's value...and value it was...a damn fine night kicked off by the frankly brilliant New Street Adventure. One of the things that ticks me off with some bands is the paucity of their lyrics (yes, paucity...I've come over all Jane Austin...she didn't mind) but the Adventure have some crackers. Tales of rugby playing toss bags, chavvy girls, late nights on the town...all observed with a nice street poet kinda wit. I really like the lead singers voice too...reminds me a bit of the dude from Flamboyant Bella. The band have a Jam-ish kind of quality (not the fruit based conserve, the Mod lot...oh you got that...sorry), tight, energetic perfomers with a real flair for classic pop songs. They do quiet, reflective stuff just as well...check out Runaround. Colour me impressed (that means I was really impressed...really, really impressed...zigazig ahhh...).

The trouble with starting off a night so strongly is that a lot of the bands can then seem a little bit of a let down. Happily we had a fix for that...Fix Monday in fact (clever link eh? I'm a professional...don't try this at could all go horribly wrong). Fix Monday are special, life affirming even. They've got some lovely vocal dynamics going on in the band (have a listen to I Change for example), the best moment by far though was when the band came off the stage and performed an acapella track. I love stuff like that. It's hairs on the back of the neck time. Despite a few chatterers (why go to gigs and talk?do you not understand the go to a gig to LISTEN to the bands....aaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh) and a DJ with twitchy fingers it was a truly great moment.

Two down, next up The Lionhearts all the way from Cardiff. Could we keep up the standards set by the first two bands...oh yes. There's a touch of The View about The Lionhearts but, for my money at least, this lot are a hell of a lot stronger. Yellow Star Cafe in particular is just such a great track...simple, but catchy as hell. They've got a nice folky feel but with an oomph that drives along the music at just the right pace. There's a mandolin too...why do so many bands ignore the huge range of instruments available and just stick to guitar, drum, bass? More mandolins...more strings...more something different like The Lionhearts and the musical landscape would be a much richer place.

I've seen Liner before...back in October 2007...anal? Moi? Anyway, if we were giving awards for the most energetic perfomance of the night Liner would win hands down. Lead Liner Alex had that kind of Kevin Rowland kind of intensity that Dexy's had back in the day. The bit where he span round and landed on his knees towards the end of the set would've crippled most frontmen. As I recalled last time they've got some really strong songs and Diamonds stood out once more as being one of the best. I'm delighted to report that this track has been picked to feature in the new Sharon Stone movie "Whoops don't look up my crotch", that's not right..."The Year of Getting to Know Us". So clearly the good folk of Hollywood read The Hearing Aid too...hi ya fellas...need any writers? I won't go on strike...promise. I'll even make the tea. And fetch you mountains of me...we'll do lunch. Er...right...Liner then. Hollywood beckons and, all joking aside, I would love this track to be picked up by US radio (and I think it could well be). Will Liner be the next big band to come out of Brum? Watch this space.

Finally, and the fifth band of the night (that's value etc etc), This Love Affair. I recognise this lot...but not the name....hmmm...hold on...ahhhh right...they were The Brite Lights last time I saw them. I sense ambition with this lot. They're going right for the U2 epic stadium rock crown, knocking over that bloke who thinks he's a hedge...(oh the Edge...right...that makes a lot more sense). Listen to Turn The Page. There...see what I mean. They hit the spot too. I'd love to see them on a really big stage with a massive PA behind 'em. That's their natural territory. Bono-issimo.

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