Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Phill Jupitus / Tim Wells at Bethnal Green Working Mens Club 9/3/2009

What a surprise cracking night. Two middle aged Muso's sifting through their collection of 7 inch singles, whacking them on the turntable and talking about what makes them so special. We get mainly Ska and Soul with a bit of foul mouthed Ian Dury. It all makes for a very funny and informative night. The real revelation was when Nick Drummer from the overrated Kaiser Chiefs joins them onstage and admits they nicked the simple guitar line from Predict a Riot from the original version of Ghost In My House. The dirty, thievin', robbin' bastards. (4/5 ... only because one of the earlier readers was dull as hell)

Crystal Stilts / Wavves at Bardens Boudoir 26/2/09

Wavves - basically a bloke on a guitar with a drummer. A friend of mine was raving over him, but I think even she was disappointed. He was OK - but much more than that I already can't remember.

Crystal Stilts are the sound of the 60's - very Phil Spector or Raveonettes. The drumming was straight out of Bobby Gillespie era Jesus and Mary Chain. Definitely worth seeing but it does tend to wear a little thin after a while - the vocals are so massively reverbed that the whole sound tends to merge together. Bardens Boudoir suffers a two inch stage so you cant really get to see much that's going on, even though this is still a very small and intimate gig, which adds to the sense of detachment from what's going on. Maybe I'll catch them again at a better venue. (3/5)

Cut in the Hill Gang at Brixton Windmill 20/2/09

Johnny Walker returns to the UK with his new band at last. The demise of the Soledads was a real shame and I can't think of any other band plugging the filthy dirty blues rock hole left behind. Having seen the Cut in the Hill Gang I now know why the Soledads split. They're still a two-guitars-only band, but where Johnny used to lead over the second guitar, now the new guitar player takes the lead, playing to the next level and you get a much more intricate sound, and it works brilliantly. Gone is the giant saxophone of Soledad days which, although looking cool, was over used to my mind, just honking around, Muppet style, and not really adding that much. JW is still a great frontman, halfway between nerdy geek and cool as hell old school Detroit blues man. The other guitar player though is pure geek - he needs a makeover as the Soledad's definately scored higher on image.

For a two-song finale Ben Swank joins them on the drums to rattle through a couple of old Soledad's numbers. Yes, we do miss his deranged playing style. But the Soledad's are dead. Long live Cut in Hill Gang! (5/5)