Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A Weekend of Bold Brits

This past weekend was something of a celebration of Brit rock (don't think Dodgy........DON'T) for anyone knocking about Liverpool's loudest loft, the Barfly. I still maintain that any self-respecting attic requires fibre wool and a Scalextric set to qualify, though that's a debate for another time. The point is this, in one weekend I was privileged enough to take in sets by:

In that order of preference, actually. Frank Turner's only getting better with age, despite (or, perhaps, perversely aided by) the fact that many of his songs fight with the world weariness of lost youth. Songs about jaded, semi-maintained rebellion and incomprehensible scenes were sung back to Frank like old friends at a 10 year reunion. In reality some of the songs have only been with us for a few weeks but they feel like classics. Buy his 'Love Ire & Song' release here and you too can feel the burn (and help out one of Britain's best individual songwriters to boot).

His supports were Ciara and Chris, as we're all on a friendly, folksy, first name basis. The former is an interesting, energetic young lass with a fine line in songs scorning love and mates who are "spoiled cunts". Some songs recall the cabaret style of Dresden Dolls but mostly the material is raw keyboard stuff with a darkly humourous lyrical content. After a beer, I enjoyed. Chris Titty didn't do so much for me. Perhaps his songs are better on disc but I didn't connect with the spirit of it all and thought the delivery lacked some oomph, to explore the depths of vocabulary. To be fair others gave him good cheers though, so far be it from me to shit on his Cornflakes. Like I said, Frank was ace and well worth catching on the tour he's apparently doing with the Holloways in May. Cheggidout.

So, onto Sunday and I missed a band called Cats & Cats & Cats, as I wished to watch footy and eat. Reliable source informs me they were quite good, hence the mention. Maybe I'll be earlier next time they play. If there's no footy on. Anyway, Errors from Glasgow then, well, moped onto stage really. Looking like the nether years between grunge and old emo (not nu-emo....or nemo......think backpacks/specs not gaunt/eyeliner), I was expecting some form of 'core. What actually emerged was rather intricate, electronic-led future rock, not entirely dissimilar to Battles with a less robotic sound. The drummer was loving it and keeping a tight rhythm, where as the singer/keyboardist had the look of Jarvis Cocker's less extrovert brother - at one point "Cheer up" is jovially offered from the crowd and returned with only a befuddled glance - but they definitely impressed.

Finally, my first time seeing Yorkshire folk ¡Forward, Russia! was an equally enjoyable way to finish off a weekend chock full of great British music. The songs on new album 'Life Processes', which I will endeavour to review up in here when it's further germinated in my brainbox, stack up nicely against debut faves like 'Twelve' and 'Nine' in an expectedly schizophrenic set. They exude a nervous energy throughout, although it's tempered and reined in during set highlight 'Nineteen'. I love this song on disc but it gains new beauty in a live setting, delicately building to a glimmering crescendo, only to fall away into a quiet introduction to the next angular, upbeat number. Mesmerising stuff.

All told a fabulous spring weekend of music and a welcome release from the rigours of the working week (that Against Me! - see last post - song rings through my head every time I write about this stuff). I haven't written much about live shows from Jan through March, so it's a testament to these bands' live ability that I'm drawn to wax off about them here. Long may it continue towards ATP in May.

Now playing: Lichens - M St R Ng W Tchcr Ft L V Ng N Sp R T
via FoxyTunes


Dan said...


Zidered said...

Got something up here eventually......I'm sure it leaves the reader speechless....!