Gig three at the 'bow this week. I am officially moving in soon. I've secured a spot just behind the toilet bowl in the gents loos. It's a bit smelly, but it's home. Sadly, thanks to West Midlands Transport and their new policy of making you wait for hours before a thousand buses all cruise along at the same time, we arrived at the death of the first band's set. They were called The Concept: Mk and seemed to make a good noise but, alas, I can't give a full set appreciation. A quick listen to their MySpace thingy and free CD that we were handed towards the end of the evening reveals a progtronica (there I go again, inventing genres) vibe.
Next up The Dead Fish, notable for the lead singer's cod Rasta accent in between songs and Stone Roses meets The Clash meets Campag Velocet feel. When they hit their groove it all came together quite well.
If I'm skimping on the details of the first couple of bands it's because I want to focus on the last two (and my typing finger gets sore if I witter on for too long). Third band of the night...all the way from Paris...in France...over the water and far away...King of Conspiracy. This was a simply brilliant set, combining a Hives-ish garage rock feel with a twitchier Foals edge. The drummer was on the verge of exploding from start to finish. Seriously, I've rarely seem anyone put so much into a performance, quite complex patterns too...not just bashing away like a nut job. Nice use of the cow bells by the lead singer too...you've gotta love the cow bells...and a voice that tears a ruddy great hole in your eardrum then procedes to play basketball with your brain. It's all too easy to become jaded if you go and see loadsa bands but someone like King of Conspiracy can chip away all those years and make you feel 17 again. I take my beret off to them. Tres, tres bon (NB: me and Lady Baron have just had a big debate about whether 'bon' should be 'bon' or 'bonne'...answers on a postcard to 'The Baron, Back of The Toilet Bowl in the Gents Loos, The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham).
Finally, featuring (I believe) someone from my home patch of Bearwood, Miss Halliwell. The last (and indeed only) time I've seen them they supported The Fall (their spiritual ancestors)...at the request of the godfather of grumble himself, Mr Mark E.Smith. That's a big deal in my book. They deserved it too. Now, boosted by two new members, they're an even more powerful proposition, the clattering music more closely matching lead singer Matthew's bizzaro lyrics. At times he looks like a man possessed, a wirey young preacher ranting to anyone who'll listen...'Cucumber cucumber cut out the middle bit', 'the leaves on the trees are looking at me', 'people from the Midlands shouldn't be allowed on TV'...these are just some of his observations. And who am I to disagree? I've never trusted those leaves. Like The Fall you'll either love it or hate it (I've rarely met someone who isn't Marmitasised by The Fall) but, if you value something a little different, Miss Halliwell richly deserve to be clutched to your bosom. Check out their only MySpace track The Rash and judge for yourself...or I'll get Mark.E.Smith to visit you in the wee small hours.
Cop u later.
DON'T FORGET...RUMBLE STRIPS ON MONDAY!