Friday, March 20, 2009

Finley Quaye / Burnside @ The Rainbow, Thursday 19th March 2009

Soon be Christmas...Ho Ho Ho! Actually I shouldn't joke about it, what with the 'credit crunch' and all that I daresay the shops will soon be clearing the unsold easter eggs and replacing them with mince pies. If it can happen, it will happen. But let us cast aside thoughts of 'figgy puddings', jolly St Nick and Iceland Frozen Party Platters (48 pieces for just £4.99...yum...squirrel foreskin in batter Vicar?) and instead turn our attention to bluesy rockers Burnside. Unusually there's three vocalists in the band, each one of whom is more than capable of doing 'the biz'. There's a touch of Alt Country to some of the tracks, a slightly baggy indie feel to the performance and the whole thing works particularly well when Jonny and Des (I think) back Robbie (who has the bluesier, stronger voice) on vocals. You can listen to Microdots (a live recording) on their space but, to be honest, last night's performance sounded a whole load better so you'd better go and see them live instead.

On to our headline act. Do you want jam on that? A whole load of jam. Jars and jars of the stuff. Oozing all over the place. Thick, sticky jam. Jam doughnuts...without the dough...or nuts. Jamjamjamjamjahhhhhh. Yes, tonight was a bit of a jam. A smaller band than I was expecting, just Fin on guitar, a bass player, drummer and keyboard dude (who didn't seem to do much keyboarding). Of course reggae (like jazz and prog rock) has a reputation for drifting off into a bit of a jam, the success of all this relies on having a central force to really jam around. At times tonight it worked really well (the opening Voodoo Chile jam hit the spot) and we certainly weren't short changed in terms of the set length (a good hour and a half). At other times the jam wandered into a bit of a noodle, a bit too mellow for some of the audience I sensed. Unsurprisingly a chilled out version of Sun Is Shining got the best reception of the night and, had we all been in a field in the middle of summer with a pint of glider and a spliff the size of a draught excluder I feel the noodling bit would've made a lot more sense...

Still, a good night all round and a rare chance to see a Brit winner up close and personal. Jam anyone?
(picture courtesy of the lovely Shakeypix Photography)

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