Friday, April 18, 2008


Ting Tings @ ULU 16.4.08

Wednesday night I went to ULU in Malet Street to see the ‘next big things’ The Ting Tings. The problem with bands nowadays is that they get too big too quickly. The Ting Tings have only had two singles yet here they are selling our ULU and playing the Astoria in a month or so when really they should be struggling to play in front of a couple of hundred in a back room of a pub. The press are somewhat to blame and have hyped this band immensely, but when a band whose music is as yet unknown plays a large venue it leads to an uneasy atmosphere in the crowd with some idiot elements not even paying attention to the music. Having now seen them, are they worth the hype? Probably not. They are a two piece with a male drummer who’s drumkit is massive (size isn’t everything) and a female vocalist guitarist. However, this is not the reverse of the White Stripes, as the girl purely strums a few chords and they become reliant on backing tape for a synth pop backing to their songs. The forty-five minute set was good and has probably persuaded me to buy their debut album when it is out, but for their live show I fear there will be not much difference when I play to CD.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


The Fratellis, Albert Hall 11.4.08

It’s the time of year for the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Albert Hall, last Friday as part of this I saw The Fratellis. This was the first time I have seen them headline after support slots with The Who and Kasabian and I have to say they were really good. They played nearly all their Costello Music album and a few new songs. Also, rather predictably, Roger Daltrey who organises these charity shows, joined them in the encore for a rendition of The Who’s ‘The Seeker’. Daltrey actually introduced them by saying ‘If The Who were Scottish then they would be The Fratellis’.
A couple of the new songs were imminently tuneful, one sounding a bit like Digsys Diner, and the last song, Chelsea Dagger was elongated in the intro due to the bass being replaced. This did lead to the crowd doing a bit more ‘der le de deh der le da’ for longer that necessary. Still a fine performance.
Support was from the Ravonoettes, a Canadian trio, with two guitars and a drummer creating a goth ultravioletesque sound. Only once though did the singer seem to be enjoying it, concentrating too hard, presumably on getting the words and chords right. I may check out their album soon.
I ended the evening in the Prince Of Wales in Kensington Church Street. When my brother & I were here a year ago there was a stunning model-esque barmaid, also noted on Beer In The Evening, called Simone. Alas she has probably moved on to better things, but it is still a nice pub and the current bar-staff were also very pleasant and easy on the eye.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Quizzes and Jimbob

Been back doing the Woodies quiz in New Malden recently. This used to be a legendary Tuesday night when most of my friends came back in their hols from Uni. Always tough, sometimes inpossible and many questions on heraldry. Must have been about seven or eight year absence for me and fortunately the quiz, now every other Sunday, has got slightly easier (Presumably as its run by someone else and presumably Woodies stopped doing them for a bit). We were very pleased we did not come last and had we known that Ned Kelly was the last man hanged in Australia or Andy Abraham is representing the UK in Eurovision this year, we may even had won a prize.

Last Wednesday I saw Jimbob (the singer of Carter USM) at the 100 club. A very good show, despite ignoring all Carter songs completely. ‘You’ll have to wait till November’ he told the crowd. He was supported by a band called S*M*A*S*H, who I vaguely remember from the early nineties. I even thought I recognised one of their songs from many a wasted night down Collide-a-scope at Kings.
On football matters, its funny to see Wenger become more and more madder and objectionable as Arsenal realise they are nowhere near Man Utd or Chelsea.
As to Saints, we have put in two very good performances, the win against Bristol City was the best of the season, and although we did not press for the win against Charlton, you probably would have taken a point before the game. Whether it is enough to keep us up I don’t know. A win against Burnley on Saturday would certainly help.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Be Your Own Pet 1.4.08 Scala

Ah… Be Your Own Pet. Jemina, the bloke who looks like Alan Sunderland and two other guys from Nashville, with a unique blend of shouty punk grunge. They are responsible for my favourite album of the year so far, Get Awkward!
We got up to Kings Cross to watch the first leg of Roma Man Utd where C Ronaldo scored a Joe Jordanesque header, which is one of the best headed goals seen for a long while. As they weren’t on till 9.45, we saw the whole of United’s victory before heading off to The Scala. (side issue re venue - interesting was shut down many years ago as it should Clockwork Orange whilst it was banned!)
A good positioned was obtained, on the floor on the left as always and we were treated to fifty minutes of excitement and fast moving songs. A surprising amount of the debut album was played including Fuuun and Adventure though it was the new album cuts that stood out for me. Black Hole, The Kelly Affair although fast paced were head banging cuts you could sing to. Towards the end of the Becky, a song that the Pipettes could have sung, where the singer kills her ex best friend by knifing her afer class and thinking it was fun, was fantastic especially as it loosens the pace of the gig. Bitches Leave and The Beast Within both had Zepplin type riffs in which show how much they are progressing and finally the encored with a great version of Bunk Trunk Skunk which reminds of why we love them in the first place.
Hopefully will be back in England come the Autumn!


The Enemy, Astoria 28.3.08

The Enemy at the Astoria on Friday were alright. An hour set comprising of mainly their ‘Live & Die In These Towns’ debut, a couple of new songs and a very dodgy cover of the Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’. They opened with ’40 Days And 40 Nights’ and immediately you could see their mod routes. Comparisons with the Jam are inevitable, and although they are undoubtedly a good band and know what they are doing, I don’t think there is anything that really stood out. The fact that they can sell out four or five nights on the trot here shows that they must stand above other bands but this doesn’t hide a lack of originality, and also empathises that there is a lack of good new bands at the moment. However, their audience was young and therefore don’t really care.
One gripe that gets me with a lot of modern bands at the moment is that although there is a keyboard player/programmer clearly playing, (and in this case introduced), he was hidden behind a speaker remaining firmly in the shadows. Kasabian (a far better band) and also New Found Glory recently were exactly the same and whilst they may not be an ‘offical’ member of the band, it would be good to see them get some credit as they are contributing towards the live sound of the gig.

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