Friday, March 21, 2008

Cut Off Your Hands / Sunset Cinema Club / William / Mayday @ The Yardbird Wednesday March 19th 2008

Finally got round to seeing a gig at The Yardbird (for Birminghamites it's the place next to 'Paradise' Forum...for anyone else...well, it's the place next to 'Paradise' Forum...what...did you expect it to move or something?). Anyway, it was a night put on by local promoters This Is Tomorrow, who put on one of THE gigs of 2007, The Foals at The Sunflower Lounge. Good work chaps. Early arrivers (we got there at 7.45pm ish) get a free shot of Sambuca. Huzzah! Late arrivers get a kick in the crotch and are forced to drink wee (no, that's a joke).

First up, Mayday, who I've had the pleasure of seeing a few times before. They've got a clutch of really strong tracks, the utter highlight of which is Somewhere They'll Meet (not the best version on their My Space page but a worthy single if anybody gave a toss about such things anymore). I like the tight new wavey guitar bits and 'spect due to the keyboards. Let's hear it for keyboards...yeah..

Next, William (the band). I'd love to report that they were crap 'cos then I could just write William, It Was Really Nothing...but they were really rather good. Bugger. Five Minute Wonder in particular was a stonker. Talking Heads meets early Supergrass meets Televison in CBGB's c. 1979. The fact that it was released in 2006 and tonight was the first time I'd heard it just goes to reinforce what a shocking state the 'music industry' is in. How many more hidden gems are there out there. Frickin' thousands no doubt and yet 99.9% of the population still listen to .01% of the total recorded output of the world (NB: these figures may not be statistically 99.9864% accurate). Rant over. Punky americana heart and soul music for people with above average ears.

After missing Sunset Cinema Club for years, here I am seeing them for the second time in a month or so. Jolly glad I am too. Twitchy pop rock with some genius call/response vocal stuff between each band member and a darn funky undercurrent that really sets them apart. Check out Sunday Best (I still love the cheeky Girls on Film reference). See? It's all funky, then a bit rocky, then all funky/rocky/indie-ish. It's eneough to make me stain my Sunday best...there was no need for that really was there? They've got a song called 7-eleven too. I used to work in a 7-eleven in Brighton, serving prostitutes family sized boxes of Durex at 2am. Happy days.

Last up Cut Off Your Hands, who played in the barfly a few weeks back to a shamefully small crowd. Shame on you...and me...for not going. Oh the shame. They came all the way from New Zealand too. Hang thy heads. Anyway, did you miss anything? Yes. 'Fraid so. Powerpop gold, that even got my old knees twitching, screaming guitars and emotionally charged vocals, they're well worth catching live. Still Fond is a particular highlight, with that kind of Summer time feel (check out the Beach Boy style harmonies) that makes you want to drive down a country lane in an open topped Morris Minor...but that's probably just me again.

Note on the venue, as it was my first time...quite impressed really. Getting a good view ain't the easiest thing in the world. Good choice of ciders (not cheap, as you'd expect for a central Brum venue, but far better than the watery muck the Academy serve), speedy service, the loos didn't stink of piss and, given the strange layout (an L-shaped affair) the sound weren't too bad either (although I believe they're planning to beef that up soon as well). It seems that this is a hot bed of Jazz/Hip Hop loveliness so I'll have to get back here soon for a different style of gig. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings beckons in April. Hurrah! What, you don't have a ticket? It's sold out...sorry...I did warn you...

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