The first gig after 8 odd years away - Drugstore - always a favourite of the sniffer and seen on many occasions. Loud-quiet-loud done better than the Pixies and the vocals of a siren.
What really carries this band though is that Brazilian Isabel Monteiro makes such an enthralling front. Verbal, witty and sincere, you really feel the effort she has gone to - as though it's a personal favour to YOU, to gather the band members up for just one more gig. And hell it was worth all that work and stress as we're given a two hour set of Drugstore's finest, reminding us all of what a great band they were. Somehow, years later, the songs seem even more poignant - songs about the mistakes we've made, the opportunities we've missed and the failed loves in our lives. And when she sings them, you know: it's real. She's been there, and you feel touched that a complete stranger is sharing all this with you. Even down to the fact that the new boots she bought for the gig broke and had to be gaffa taped up, she voluntarily shares. As the show reaches its final moments we can all feel the sadness that's welling up inside her - of how great these guys were together and now it's all over. Final song, Fader, goes though it's final refrain over and over, just to keep the animal alive for a few more moments before we all let go.
Here's the problem though - why didn't Drugstore really make it? Well, there is no reason. It was just bad.... ......timing. In the 90's indie was just indie. These days even the most cretinous indie band can become gigantic in months. (c.f. Kaiser Chiefs). Even credible indie bands these days would have been floundering back then - the Cribs in 1996? No chance. Still - while she still has the voice and the looks she can still compete. Come ON! (5/5)
That's two (5/5) in a week. The autumn gig season has started well... don't miss out on your gig tickets.
More Drugstore pictures here.