Thursday, March 04, 2010

Girls / Spectrals / Circus Town @ The Hare & Hounds, Wednesday 3rd March 2010

Circus Town...'dirty pieces' not pictured

Fancy seeing ‘Girls’ at the Hare & Hounds? It took me a moment to realise that it wasn’t an invitation to letch at the fairer sex (not that I’d do such a thing...being a gentleman and all that...the short sightedness doesn’t help matters either), but instead the chance to see a band called ‘Girls’, which, of course, doesn’t feature any. Pfff. In fact all of tonight’s bands were female free zones, kicking off with ‘dirty three piece’ (their words, not mine) Circus Town. Whether they had a dirty ‘piece’ or not I couldn’t possibly comment on. Imagine Led Zeppelin jamming with The White Stripes (which, as anyone who’s seen the recent movie/doc ‘It Might Get Loud’ realises is a pretty good combination) and you’ll have some idea of the sound. Delivering a fiery set of garage blues belters – including an unholy trinity of fine tracks entitled ‘Black Bones’, ‘Beg’ and ‘Crawl’ – they made me yearn for a bottle of Jim Beam and a trailer park full of hookers. Powerful stuff. Bonus points for the drummer’s ‘Flowery Twats’ t-shirt too (I’m assuming this was a Fawlty Towers related item and nothing to do with ‘dirty pieces’ again).

Next Spectrals. Billed as Jesus and Mary Chain meets Bobby Darin and Phil Spector (before he blew the head off someone, obviously, I guess he’s just perfecting the ‘bars of sound’ right now eh?) they reminded me more of Duane Eddy meets The La’s (again, not a bad combination). Raw and a little unpolished it might be but they do a grand job of reinventing that late 50’s early 60’s reverb heavy pop sound that you get in old surf movies featuring girls in bikinis called Cindy Lou and bronzed hunks called Brad. Jukeboxtastic.

Girls...who are all boys...

Finally, all the way from San Francisco...Girls! Fronted by a certain Christopher Owens – a former member of the Children of God religion/cult (aren’t all religions cults?) – they’ve got a kind of fuzzy, woozy thang going on. Like Spectrals they’re fans of the old reverb-erb-erb-erb too and what some of the tracks lacked in fire they made up for in fuzz. Let it get under your skin and it’s a bit like being stoned (the nice sort of stoned, not the angry mob chucking bits of rock at you kind). Personally I like my Girls loud and nasty, so tracks like ‘Big Bad Mean Motherfucker’ and the catchier than pubic lice ‘Lust For Life’ get my vote. The latter track tonight seemed to be a bit of a shortened version though (a shame ‘cos I think that’s their best song), maybe Chris lost his lust halfway through? The set drifted on nicely enough though, Chris singing hazily about finding his ‘life in the sun’ and bringing a much needed Summer-time vibe to this bloody endless bloody miserable never ending ball shrivelling Winter.

PS: Tonight was a Birmingham Promoters gig (jolly nice peeps they are too) and I strongly urge you to check out their line up for the coming months...Mr Hudson, The Fall (yes...THE FALL), Faust (yes...FAUST), Beardyman, Patrick Duff (ex Strangelove singer and performer of one of my favourite ever gigs), Horace Andy, King Adora (reforming for just a couple of dates), Darwin Deez (hotly tipped Coldplay dissin’ indie King)...the the beat...goes on.

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