Friday, March 20, 2009

Barringtone / Colonel Fabien / Is I Cinema @ The Rainbow, Friday 20th March 2009

It's Friday. Officially the sexiest day of the week. Can you think of any sexier days? Nope. Exactly. For those of you who are lucky enough to still have a job...all nine of signals the end of the working week. For the other 68million of us (and rising) it's a good excuse to have a couple of pints of glider and chill out...even more than we have done for the last five days.

First up Is I Cinema. Why the name? I love this story. It appears that one of the band was on the tube in that there London place when a gang of rudies caught him giving them a passing glance 'Oi blud! Whatcha lookin at? Is I cinema?' Genius. So much for the name, whaddabout da music? Well, as the lovely Greg (Sound Bar / sometime Rainbow soundman and all round sound man) pointed out they've got a bit of a Radiohead feel. Which they have. I like the 'head. Despite some of the posturing and grand gestures (pay us what we want for our album..we don't care...yah boo and sucks to you) they are one of the most impressive mainstream bands of the last 20 years. Is I Cinema has a similar sense of introspective retrospection together with a sparse but well used musical palate (nope, once again I have no idea what I'm on about). I love the quiet loud quiet stuff, witness Little Owl. The lyrics stand up to closer inspection too (stuff about Twin Peaks and Watchmen - 'the original comic book, not the film') and Is I Cinema could well have what it takes to become (wait for it)...a main feature. Ba ba ba bahhh ba ba ba ba bahhh (that's the old Pearl and Dean music...for anyone under the age of 40). Oh, they seemed like darn nice people too, giving Ian (Mr Sound) thanks for fixing one of their guitars with a soldering iron. Is there no end to his talents?

Next up Colonel Fabien, thy name is jazz. If you've read my Finley Quaye review you'll have seen my mutterings about the 'jam'. Whereas Fin's set had a little too much noodling in places, the Colonel get the balance just right. There's enough complexity to keep even the most ardent jazzaphobe entertained (i'm sure I caught snatches of the Simpsons theme tune and Take Five in there) and the band look, as well as sound, the part. It's unfair to single out any one member for praise as they all impressed me, but the drummer's solo was simply awesome. Only a particularly agile octopus on speed could compete. It's the second time I've seen them and I'm looking forward to the third time already. Experimental jazz they may be, but it's an experiment that works.

Finally, featuring one (or more?) of the blokes out of Clor, Barringtone. I liked Clor (remember 'Danger Zone' and 'Love and Pain'?). I bought the album. Oh yes...and you know how rare it is that I part with my cash. Clor were always a little odd and I'm glad to report that Barringtone maintain that tradition. Barringtone's debut single, Snake In The Grass is a like The Young Knives jamming with Frank Zappa. It's bonkers, but danceable, rocky and jazzy, punk and post punk all at the same time. I hadn't really picked up on it at the time but George (one of the lovely people behind Kamikaze!) pointed out that Barringtone are an XTC (I lurve XTC) sort of band - clever and arty but really engaging all at the same time. Just cop a listen to Technollipop - the soundtrack to some oddball arcade game from the 80's - or how about the Devo-esque Salad of Despair (what a great title). Like I say, it's clever stuff, simple on the outside but, like an onion, many layered...and it makes a great soup too. Quite. I think I need a lie down...

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