Sunday, May 16, 2010
Goodnight Lenin @ Birmingham Symphony Hall (well, the bar bit), Saturday 15th May 2010
Familiarity, so they say, breeds contempt. Bollocks. I’ve seen Goodnight Lenin loads of times this year and, if anything, each time the experience gets better. This afternoon (they were playing a freebie gig as part of the English Originals Weekend) showcased a slightly more stripped back Lenin (no keyboards or drums) which put the vocals more to the fore, suiting the rarefied atmosphere of the Symph Hall and chilled out late afternoon slot. As ever the set included the classics (having heard them loads of time I can call them that) ‘Crook In The Creek’ and ‘Wenceslas (I’m still struggling with the spelling of that word...can’t they change it to ‘Victoria Square’...I can cope with that) Square’ but we also got some new songs, including one so oven fresh it doesn’t even have a name yet (I’d plump for ‘Sober Eyes’ myself). There was a pleasing cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘I am a Rock’ too. What was interesting was that this track didn’t stand out from the rest of the material. Sometimes you watch a band do a cover and the rest of the set seems a little weak by comparison. Not so here which, for me, really highlights the strength of their self penned material.
The crowd (arranged over two levels around the bar area) lapped it all up and the in-between song banter showed just how refreshingly at ease the band are, with each other and the business of performing (all of which bodes really well for their future development). There’s a debut single out later in the year and a nice buzz is building about the “best thing to come out of Northfield”. Call me optimistic if you will (and you probably will...) but I’d not mind placing a bet that Goodnight Lenin might find themselves playing the Symphony Hall again in the future...only one day it’ll be the whole bloody place.
PS: The video you can watch above this nonsense shows the band on their Kitchen Tour 2010...which saw them play kitchens. Must be a kettle drum I can hear in the background then...ho ho ho...yes you're right that isn't very funny is it? Just pretend I didn't say it.