Hey kids! Today's review will be brought to you by the words 'Indie', 'Ska', 'Mod' and 'Jazz' (yes I've gone a bit Sesame Street today...right now I'm dressed as the Count...van, two, threeeee...of course if you've never watched Sesame Street this will make bugger all sense...'plus ca change' as Big Bird would say). In fact I'm joined by guest reviewers Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch. O what fun!
The Baron / Count: Right Bert, what do you reckon to the first act - The Traps!
Bert: 'I kinda liked 'em, reminded me a bit of a cross between Orange Juice, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers'.
The Baron / Count: Good observation there Bert, how about you Ernie?
Ernie: 'Can I have some candy?'
The Baron / Count: No Ernie, and here in the UK we call it chocolate...now go and sit over there with Big Bird. Bert hit the nail on the head, really impressed with The Traps. They've got that kind of archness (and the lead singer has a touch of Edwyn Collins to his vocal too) that you'd get in Orange Juice, fused with a Killers-ish knack for a winning riff. Check out 'Feeling and Failing' and you'll see what I mean. Sparky performance that left me wanting more. Okay, who's next Big Bird?
Big Bird: 'I like rainbows...it's like the cloud's have cried then the sun makes a big colourful smile...'.
The Baron / Count: Yes Big Bird, very nice, but who was the next band?
Big Bird: 'Are you angry with me?'.
The Baron / Count: Quite frankly, yes I am a little...oh good grief...anyone...the next band?
Oscar The Grouch: 'Hey asshole, it was 360'.
The Baron / Count: I don't think you're allowed to say 'asshole' Oscar the Grouch, but yep, it was 360. Whilst you're here though, what did you reckon to 360?
Oscar The Grouch: 'Well, I'm a bit of a ska head myself, so they pretty much rocked my can'.
The Baron / Count: Indeed, 360 are an 8 headed skank machine, guaranteed to raise Lazarus...or maybe even the British banking system...from the dead. A decent brass section (can there be a better sound?) is all too rare, but 360 have an impressive threesome (one of them was AWOL tonight, replaced by an equally talented chappie from Colchester). The lead singer has a great voice for the material and the whole band seem to play for the sheer joy of the skank. For an instant party just add 360.
Okay, Big Bird, time to make amends, who were the third band...van, two, threeee? '
Big Bird: Was it Captain Beefheart?'.
The Baron / Count: No Big Bird, good try...it was The Ladders. Over to you again Bert, thoughts?
Bert: 'Mod, soul, sweat...what's not to love?'
The Baron / Count: Quite right once again Bert, you're pretty good at this, you should write for NME you know.
Bert: 'Thanks...see Ernie, you're just holding me back...I'm off, fuck Sesame Street, I'm going to London to take coke and shag glove puppets'.
The Baron / Count: No Bert, that's not very nice, give Ernie a big hug. Bert's on the money though, The Ladders are modtastic, as sharp as an Italian suit and with a set that already sounds like a greatest hits selection. They've supported the modfather himself, Mr Paul Weller, but I'd actually probably rather watch The Ladders myself. They are THAT good.
Finally, and for all our sakes that's probably a good job...what's that Big Bird? No, it wasn't 'Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mitch and Titch'...it was Anyone For Shark? Oscar, care to comment?
Oscar The Grouch: 'You got any drugs?'
The Baron / Count: No, not right now, thoughts about the band?
Oscar The Grouch: 'A nice mix of blues and jazz...perfect for sitting in your can, getting off your box and smoking the 'erb'.
The Baron / Count: Thanks Oscar, all good points. Anyone For Shark? have a Bees-ish vibe, chilled out jams burst into sudden explosions of noise. It's a bit like drifting off into a nice dream only to be woken by a slap round the chops with a wet shark. According to their MySpace page they're influenced by the 'Jobseekers Allowance'...hey, me too! Who knows, maybe my enforced period of unemployment will see me starting a jazz, blues supergroup too? Anyway, good stuff as ever from the Sharks and...god...this is getting silly...yet another brilliant Friday night line up. Until next time, from Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, stay safe, don't talk to strangers and beware the ides of March.
This review was written in front of a live studio audience and brought to you by the words 'Indie', 'Ska', 'Mod' and 'Jazz'. The Hearing Aid is a production of a Deranged Mind.