Friday, November 06, 2015

Shit Present / Young Adventurers / Will Rene / Honey Pot @ The Cavern, Exeter – Thursday 5th November 2015

First gig in months and first gig in Exeter too and we picked a cracker (although rather boringly public transport cocked up the end of the night and we had to miss pretty much all of Shit Present’s set to catch the last ruddy train at 11.00...that’s barely tea hiss etc).

If you’ve not been to The Cavern it’s a great little venue, not dissimilar to the Liverpudlian version (or at least the one they ‘created’ after the council turned the real one into park...genius) and the kind of place you instantly feel at home at (or maybe that’s just because I feel at home in a cellar, who knows?). The booze is reasonable (£3.50 for a pint of Thatchers), the sound’s pretty decent and there are plenty of cool nooks and crannies to lurk about in if you want to have a natter (n between sets of course...chatting during a band's set should be punishable by death) or cop off with someone.

Okay, tourist information over with, on with the bands and first up self confessed lo-fi miserablists Honey Pot whose emotionally raw lyrics and downcast vocal delivery could well induce wrist slitting in even the most upbeat personality, but if you subscribe to the old adage that misery loves company there’s something strangely comforting about it all too. I’ve not been a teenager for, ooooh, over a quarter of a century or so but for many of us it’s both the best and worst of times and Honey Pot’s music bravely captures that sense of isolation and confusion (actually it doesn’t get much better as you get older but we’ll gloss over that) which takes real guts. Loved the Vini Reilly-ish guitar sounds too, ace.

Next up, with a song about ear wax amongst other subjects, Will Rene, who could well become a Hearing Aid favourite. Imagine Buddy Holly’s great, great, great grandchild crossed with Jeffrey Lewis, early Elvis (Costello that is) and then add a little dash of Adam Green and Jacques Brel (kudos to Will for his pacey cover of Brel's Le Moribond) into the pot and you might just end up with Will (now there’s one for the geneticists to try). Pick of the set, The Trigger’s Broom Paradox (presumably named after the classic Only Fools and Horses sketch where Trigger get’s an award for using the same broom for 20 odd years before proudly revealing that it’s only had 14 new handles and 17 new heads...) is typical of Will’s material (and, quite possibly personality), cramming in more words and thoughts than normal but somehow creating something rather wonderful. If you’re ever lucky enough to see him live (highly recommended by the way) ask him how many official Bond themes there have been...

I was watching a programme about girls/women in bands the other night and there was some debate about whether you should even mention the fact that a band is all female or not. Of course it really shouldn’t be notable in this day and age but the sad and confusing truth is that, out of the hundreds of bands I’ve seen far over the years, far less than half of them are all female or even have a woman in the line up. I’ve always thought this was an odd thing and no one’s properly explained it to me so I’ll carry on banging on about it until we have more girl/woman/female (delete as applicable) bands like (hence this rambling bit) Young Adventurers.  Riot Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl meets indie pop and with a lead singer who’s clearly put in the hours in a tattoo parlour Young Adventurers made a glorious racket tonight with Pix(ies) of the bunch Song 4 brilliantly blending punky guitars with more melodic vocals. Ladies of the world pick up thy guitars and play! 

That should have warmed us up neatly for ShitPresent but sadly the last train back to the wonderful wibbly world of Whimple is 11.01 and it’s a 9 mile walk or a mortgage-tastic taxi ride back so we had to leave just as they were getting going which was a bit of a, well, shitter to be honest. I guess that’s what you get for choosing to live in the countryside (to be honest public transport in Brum’s not a huge amount better though). Anyone know of any cheap rooms we can rent for the night to avoid this catastrophe in the future?! Answers on a Shit Present 12 inch single to The Baron, Whimple, Under a Barrel of Cider.   

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