Saturday, May 29, 2010
Syndicate Club Night featuring Arcadian Kicks / Angry vs The Bear...no...Shackletons / I Thee Lothario / King Singh and Grease Boy, Friday 29th May
The last time I entered The Sound Bar I was met by a room full of friends and family all wearing stick on ‘taches and shouting “Surprise!”. It’s a memory that still haunts me in the wee small hours...
This evening I was able to slip in as inconspicuously as anyone with a silly moustache can (mine isn’t stick on), just in time to catch King Singh and Grease Boy (plus another dude who didn’t have an alter ego...I’ll call him Quiet Man...ooooh ooooh no...how about The Nameless One...that’s much cooler). There’s something that screams HUGE potential about this lot. Whilst tonight’s set was a bit rough around the edges (slightly squiffy vocals and keyboards in places) the overall sound was an intriguing mix of beats, Vampire Weekend-ish guitars and heartfelt vocals...a bit like an all male version of The xx meets Bon Iver meets Haircut 100 (one for the granddads out there). I’m guessing this set up is pretty new to them but my advice, for what it’s worth, is that it’s one that’s well worth pursuing. Ones to watch.
Next up – although they’ll always be headliners in my book – it’s the synth shagging superstars in waiting (actually I’m sure they don’t shag their synths...can’t be good for the circuitry can it?) I THEE LOTHARIO!!!!! (cue screaming girls, one of those big trumpet fanfares and a shit load of fireworks...and lasers...fickin' lasers).
Purveyors of some of the catchiest synth rock tunes ever heard by human ears they’re a delight to watch and listen to from start to finish and some of the loveliest people you can ever wish to meet. I’ve said before that the Lothario’s sets are now something of a greatest hits show to me...it’s just that the rest of the World has to catch up with me and the band (wake up World)...and tonight was no exception. Kicking off with the evangelical ‘Arise, Release, Repent’ and ending with (my personal favourite) ‘Soldier To Your Heart’ tonight’s set saw them debut a couple of new songs too ‘Sarah Wasn’t Sleeping’ and ‘Regrets’ both worthy additions to the Lothario arsenal of tunage (yes, arsenal of tunage). There’s talk of the band playing the main stage at Artsfest this year which could be one of the big breaks they so richly deserve – I’d also like to see ‘em supporting Heaven 17 at the HMV Institute. They’d go down a storm. I think I might write to Jimmy Saville (does he still fix stuff?). Jimmy? Jimmy?? You out there dude?
Next it was supposed to be electro pop punk party poppy punky pop punksters Angry vs The Bear (who I was really looking forward to seeing). Imagine Lene Lovich and Lily Allen having a fisting party with Late of The Pier and that’s exactly what they sound like. Brilliant! However...they didn’t show up. Booo! Instead it was left to Coventry super subs Shackletons to plug the gap. Ploughing their own way through country rock (think The Band, Dylan and...if you must...Kings of Leon) they did a fine set, although (as the band themselves kind of acknowledged) it probably wasn’t the best bill for them. But then again they weren’t due to be on it were they Angry vs The Bear...eh...eh?! Anyway picks of the tracks included ‘World’s Biggest Waster’, the Neil Young tinged ‘We are the Dreamers’ and ‘Too Grown Up’ (which kinda reminded me of Tom Petty). Lovers of all the aforementioned artists will find a lot to like in Shackletons. “We’re from Coventry” announced one of the band towards the end of the set “Birmingham’s car park” he added “Wish it was” opined their lead singer (how many reviews do you read with the word opined in eh...no idea what it means, just looks good don’t it?) “...cost us £40 to park here tonight”.
PS: Bizarre fact – it seems they are managed by Ron Brand, father of potty mouthed sex machine and OAP baiting ‘comedian’ Russell Brand. Really? Wow.
Finally, it’s The Arcadian Kicks...I’m sure it does...that’s what you get for taking the piss out of it. Sparkly indie rock with an added shot of sax appeal (regular readers will know of my sax fetish), taking in influences from as far apart as The White Stripes, X-Ray Spex and Gossip. Scrummy. They played for a good hour or so tonight, working the crowd as hard as any band I’ve seen recently with lead vocalist Rebecca in particular giving it some real welly (that’s a great voice there). Being a sax addict any tracks that featured it stood out as highlights, so ‘Standing in the Road’, ‘White Noise’ and ‘Howl at the Sun’ (a lovely mash up of the Stripes and the Spex and, for my money, one of their best tracks) all hit the spot. It seems like they’ve got some powerful friend in high places too including their manager Jon Brookes – drummer with The Charlatans and Mike Chapman – producer of their debut album (and the man who was also responsible for producing some of Blondie’s best stuff). In fact in a recent interview Mr Chapman rated Arcadian Kicks as being the most exciting thing he’s heard since Debs and co. Cripes. The Chapman produced debut album’s out later this year, so watch this space (well, not this space obviously ...if you keep looking at this space all you’ll see is this and there’s far better things to look at on the internet than this...there's a beatboxing dog on You Tube for example. Hilarious. Who says the human race is doomed eh?).