Thursday, October 29, 2009

Everything Everything / Findo Gask / Fix Monday @ The Flapper, Thursday 28th October 2009

Fix Monday...on a Wednesday

I wasn’t going to go to this gig but I made the mistake of watching one of the headline band’s videos and that was that…hooked. Oh dear. I’m going to have to gig detox soon or else my ears will fall off. First up, Fix Monday. I wish someone would. Then they could get on with fixing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday too. Friday, Saturday and Sunday I can live with most of the time, you can leave them as is. A quick glance back through the history books reveals that I was particularly impressed with this lot last time I saw them. I used the phrase ‘life affirming’ even. Bless my cotton socks. With songs like ‘This Will Make My Life Better’ and ‘I Change’ there’s certainly a cheery positivity about the band that was perhaps a little lacking in The Twilight Sad’s brilliant but rather more wrist slitting gig on Monday night. Tonight The Monday’s (not the Happy Monday’s as the drummer helpfully pointed out) were as joyously charming as before, making good use of harmonies particularly on their reverse stage invasion, when the entire band decamps into the audience to deliver a beautiful a’capella number. They certainly fixed Wednesday for me.

Gerard Gask...this charming man

Next up, Findo Gask. Odd name. Sounds like a Bulgarian side dish…‘yes please, I’ll have the fillet steak with large helping of Findo Gask…not too much chilli’ (actually Findo Gask is a small village in Perth and Kinross – who says this site ain’t educational?). Musically they’re an equally tasty proposition (nice link there…I’m getting cheesier by the day), a spellbinding blend of Cocteau Twins, Super Furry Animals (check out ‘Go Faster Stripe’), Foals, Chic, The Associates…for me nothing short of musical nirvana. Lead Gask, Gerard, has a voice like a naughty choirboy with shades of Russell Mael (lead vocalist of Sparks) and the late great Billy Mackenzie (lead vocalist of The Associates). That’s vocal royalty. I’d chuck in Nils Bech if anyone knew who he was, but you don’t (unless you’re Mrs Bech) so I won’t bother.

One of the Gask lads blows his own trumpet

Gerard’s got some cheeky Morrissey-esque stage moves too (minus the gladioli sadly) and despite clearly suffering from the mother of all colds he really put his heart and soul into it (as did the rest of the band). I met him in the loo afterwards (I do that a lot…maybe I’m a closet cottager?) and he was simply lovely. In the world’s shortest interview (approximately 15 seconds) he revealed that the debut album is nearly in the bag and they’re just on the lookout for a label to release it. It could well be one of the great releases of 2010…I stake my nuts on it…and any label would be freakin’ lucky to get them. I’m conscious of bigging up a lot of bands at the moment, but bollocks to it, there are some amazing groups out there at the moment (anyone who says otherwise is either (a) deaf or (b) mad) and Findo Gask are tantalisingly close to the top of the tree for me. Sparky, truly original Scots indie dance with a hard drive stuffed full of enough quirky bleepy bits to keep a Kraftwerk fan with ADD happy. Go and listen to every single track on their MySpace page right now and play it to everyone you know…then get them to play it to everyone else they know etc etc. By the weekend the whole country will be bopping away to ‘Va Va Va’, ‘One Eight Zero’, ‘Go Faster Stripe’ and the world will be a better place. Let’s go magnificent!

(By the way, what is it with all these great Scottish bands at the moment? Sucioperro, The Twilight Sad, this lot…I sense a bandwagon for NME to leap on. Gawd help us all).

Mike it, well, everything

Finally Everything Everything (recently honoured inductees of The Baron’s Top Track Club for their ‘Photoshop Handsome’ toon) which reminded me of a cross between XTC and the criminally underrated Dog’s Die in Hot Cars (RIP), in other words slightly bonkers intellipop that’s as good to dance along with as it is to sit and stroke your beard to...not that I have a beard as such. I think my silly ‘tash is quite enough facial hair for now. Happily EE were far more than one just track ponies tonight though, with ‘MY KZ UR BF’ coming across as a funky ass Foals meets Futureheads NY disco classic and 'Suffragette Suffragette' a weird hybrid of Talking Heads meets Ocean Colour Scene. Yep, they’re not an easy band to pin down (Fleet Foxes go indie disco is another comparison I found myself making during the gig – just check out set opener ‘Tin’). Of course anyone can take influences, it’s a different kettle of fish to take ‘em somewhere interesting and ‘Everything Everything’ do just that, gleefully playing around with pop’s past. The set ended all too soon (I think one of the band’s new and they’re still learning the ropes) but I’d seen and heard Everything (Everything) I’d come for. Yet another top night all round and proof that, whilst the music industry might be dying on its arse, the music itself is in fine fettle (fettle…did I really just use the word fettle?).

PS: I’m not sure how they’re doing it (witchcraft I guess) but Birmingham Promoters seem to have a bit of a knack for booking some of the best bands around just before they break through. Check out their listings and take a punt…you won't be disappointed.

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