First up though electro drum n’bassers China Red...or at least it should’ve been. It seems that their lead singer Sam is stuck in a volcano somewhere. Shame, I was rather looking forward to a bit of d n’b. I placated myself with a rather fine Cosmopolitan Cocktail made by a delightful young lady on the bar and settled down for another fix of Fix Monday instead, an instantly loveable bunch of chaps with a set stuffed full of optimistic tunes that bring a smile to the face and a tap to the toe (the perfect cure for water on the knee...). I’ve been lucky enough to see ‘em a fair few times over the last year or so and they never fail to impress. ‘This Will Make My Life Better’ and ‘I Change’ (with its delicious harmony bits) remain my favourites, but a newer, rockier track ‘Rise’ came off really well tonight and their regular a’capella “reverse stage invasion” (where the whole band decamp from the stage to the audience) version ‘Of The People You Meet’ remained spine tingingly great. On top of being lovely people (I had the pleasure of chatting to a couple of them after the gig), the band seem to be putting in that little extra effort (badges and cards all over the venue and decent website rather than just the obligatory My Space page) in everything they do. Their latest thang is to recruit the audience to film particular songs in their set then use the resulting footage to make a video. It’s a neat idea and the ones I’ve watched work surprisingly well.
After much gear humping (they were moving it I mean...not making lurve to an amplifier...that could be dangerous kids...jizz and electricity don’t mix well) Lucky Soul blessed us with the kind of set that makes you go a little bit moist in your trouser area (that’s put you off your tea now hasn’t it?). They’re a cracking live band, which is a great start, but what’s most important is that they’re writing some of the lushest pop and soul tracks around. If there’s a pop god up there in the heavens he’s answered our prayers for the perfect Summer soundtrack in their frankly essential new album ‘A Coming of Age’ which effortlessly blends influences to create tracks that are as fresh as daisy but have that feel of being long established classics. Set opener ‘Whoa Billy’ (from said album) added some glam rock footstomping to the mix for example whilst ‘White Russian Doll’ (one of the many highlights in a set that didn’t have a single duff moment) had an ultra hip Stereolab-ish feel. It’s like pop heroin...fast acting, instantly addictive and liable to make you keel over grinning like an idiot as you willingly OD. At the heart of it all there’s the scrummily angel voiced Ali Howard who spent the night shimmying all over the stage in her stockinged feet (that’s a very brave thing to do in The Flapper)...and I do love a good shimmy. If you’re a fan of Dusty, St Etienne, Candie Payne...hell...if you like music at all... you’ll just la la la la la love this band. Lucky soul? Lucky us.