Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Allies / Mr Derry / The Jaayz @ The Rainbow, Friday 31st October 2008

Woooooh spooky. Yes, it's Halloween once more. A night when the undead rise up and walk the earth, dripping bodily fluids, a-wailing and a-screeching. But enough about Broad Street, we were once more at The Rainbow for Kamikaze's 444 Club Halloween Special. First up, and nothing like the undead, the lovely Jaayz, who had even gone to the trouble of carving their own pumpkin. The only band on the bill that I'd not seen before, they have a Killers-ish edge top some of their tracks (check out Rewind on their MySpace) and a nice indie pop feel - the sort of band that would've release hand decorated 7 inch singles back in the day. They must also be the only band in the world to have written a track inspired by Duncan Goodhew (who seemingly chastised the lead singer for splashing about in a pool). They succeeded in chilling me out and cheering me up after a truly hellish week (hmmm...hellish week...Halloween...maybe there's some truth in all this hobgoblin business), so full marks and a bucket of bat wings all round.

Next up and fist me sideways...actually don't do would sting...yes, it's Mr Derry! I love Mr Derry. Lead Derry, Joni, has a wicked (oh dear god...I've turned into Normski) blues voice and is capable of belting out tracks without losing any of the emotion or subtleness that marks out a truly great vocalist. They even succeeded in making that Kings of Leon track (the one about the Bucket) sound good (I'm not a big fan of the KoL...and they, I am sure, probably don't have pictures of me on the wall of their trailer either). Check out Mr Derry's debut single 'Goodnight' and you can see (well, hear) why they're attracting plenty of good press. It seems that they've just won the Jack Daniels Unsigned Award thingy too. Quite right. Tonight the blokes in the band even went to the trouble of dressing up in full Ghostbusters uniforms (complete with homemade ectoplasm collecting backpacks). It's indicative of the kind of effort they put into their performance and they genuinely seemed to be loving it up there. If there were any record labels left I'd urge them to sign Mr Derry right now. As there aren't, you'll just have to go and see 'em live instead. Or start one of your own...I'm sure the banks would love to lend you a couple of quid...after all they've got the odd trillion sloshing around now.

Last, but by no means least, a band who you can't see live ever again. Cos they've split up. Yes, boo hoo...The Allies are no more. This is a real shame. Yes, they've clearly been influenced by other bands (The Libertines and The Arctic Monkeys spring to mind), but they always put their own touch on stuff and played their hearts out. The Celtic twist on No Love Lost marked them out as something different too and I'd have loved to see a little more of their Irish roots (I'm assuming they have Irish roots) in their music. That's all history now, but last night was a triumph for them. The place was packed, it seemed like most of the audience knew every word and it felt like a show by a band with a dozen albums behind them. Why the split? Search me. I hope they regroup, maybe change direction a little, take some time out, rediscover what they clearly love about performing and come back. I don't know why, but I have the feeling that this isn't the last we'll see of The Allies (in one form or another). Whooohahahahahah(that's me doing a spooky Halloween laugh...yes, I do need to get out more).
PS: Yes, that is the worst photo to ever appear on this blog. I blame Satan and all his little devil friends.

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