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Blog: Underground

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I was at The Metro last night, for a INDIE UNDERGROUND QUADRUPLE BILL. Beforehand, however, i met with The Jingles On My Tambourine and The Landlady for a DRINK in The John Snow - this is the nearest thing I've GOT to a Local these days, for LO! it is a lovely pub. There are many nice pubs round here, but The John Snow is the one where you're most likely to end up chatting in a JOLLY STYLE to someone you don't know (and, IMPORTANTLY, to someone ALL RIGHT, rather than one of those pubs where all the LOONIES in the postcode fancy a chat) and this time i ended up EMBROILED in a conversation at the bar with a WANDERING STATISTICIAN who tried to tell me the whole history of the place and its name, little realising that i KNEW. It was lovely!

We then popped next door (ish) to MILDRED'S, which is a BLOODY GRATE Veggie Restaurant for TEA. It was all DELIGHTFUL, and as i waved cheerio to the rest of my household and headed to the GIG i felt full of JOY with my life. All was WELL!

All CONTINUED well when I got to The Metro - I'd never been before, and I'd always imagined it being a bit like The Fan Club (as was) in Leicester, a dark upstairs room with a stage at one end. HOWEVER it was actually a dark RED-ish DOWNSTAIRS room - i tell you what, London architects seem to have been WELL KEEN on digging deep, everywhere you round here has almost as many floors underground as they do above. Anyway, I'd got all excited as it was a four band BILL, with The Retro Spankees, The Loves, The Chemistry Experiment and Bearsuit, so was ALARMED to discover it was a CRAZILY EARLY SHOW - DOORS had opened at 7.30pm, and The Retro Spankees had gone on at 7.25pm. No, i can't work that one out either. I was disappointed to have missed them, as they were ACE when I played with them, but consoled myself with a quick CHAT. What i saw of The Loves wasn't as EXCITING and ROCK as on previous occasions, but i think their DRUMMER was poorly or something.

Rather brilliantly, however, for their last song The Legendary Delia got up and played drums for them. Delia is probably the ONE person that EVERYBODY who has ever been in a band and played in London knows - she is SUPER CONNECTED but i haven't seen her out and about for AGES, so it was nice to know she's still there. ALSO at the gig was The Man With A Tail (sans tail though), who I've not seen for YEARS. There were loads of familiar faces dotted around, it was LOVELY.

A couple of these faces belonged to Charlie and Asha from The Fighting Cocks, who were there on a MISSION to find some new WOMEN for their band. I didn't think that a gig as SUPER INDIE as this would be the place to find them, but we did see one OBVIOUS candidate who VERY MUCH looked like she should be in a band... i later discovered she WAS: Bearsuit! They had to leave after a while, but not before we had DISCUSSED BRECHT! Oh yeah! Look at me - i go to restaurants then later catch a show and discuss theatrical theory. LA DI DA!

The Chemistry Experiment were next and OH MY but they are a BEEFY LIVE PROPOSITION these days - Martin and Paul ESPECIALLY are these days a VERY mighty rhythm section INDEED. The BEST thing about The Chemistry Experiment is they are totally A Band - they're always LOOKING at each other, and looking HAPPILY. Martin and Paul were constantly glancing over at each other, for instance, and there was a LOVELY bit where Lee and Emily sang along with one of the songs AT each other over the keyboards. Aaah! This is the sort of thing that really makes bands WORK - when it's just a collection of people playing the same song in time with each other, but where they're all in their different worlds, as is usually the case, there's no VIBE or GROOVE, but when you get a bunch of people CONNECTED to each other like this, it sounds FANTASTIC.

My only criticism - which, as usual, i PASSED ON afterwards - was that it was all getting a bit too JAZZ. The first song, for instance, was ten minutes long and featured MANY time and motion changes. Hey, it was GOOD - as i say, when you've got a band playing THAT WELL together, something like that is EXCITING and JOYFUL to watch and hear, but i KNOW The Chemistry Experiment have lots of ACTUAL TUNES in them, and it would have been nice to hear a few more of them. That's all!

This sort of thing was even MORE in evident with Bearsuit. Again, they are a GRATE ROCKING UNIT, and brilliantly INVENTIVE with the sounds they make - i've not seen them before, so i was DEAD IMPRESSED by the way they used all sorts of SCREECHING NOISES and SHOUTING. It doesn't really come across on records I don't think, but when they're all vocalising away with whoops and yelps and ALL SORTS it sounds EXCITING and WOW! Also there were trumpets and flutes and violins and MANY SUCH ITEMS in evidence, so the SOUND was really brilliant, but I came away without remembering any of the TUNES or anything.

Or am i just being a miserable old sod? I certainly had a GRATE night, it was all ENNERVATING and also LOVELY to see so many people I'd not seen for ages. Unfortunately however the DUAL NATURE of my evening meant I had perhaps over indulged a tad on the BOOZE front, and today feel A Little Wonky. ROCK and ROLL!

posted 19/5/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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blimey, i always thought bearsuit were mimsy and hairclippy, due to the rather twee name, rather than rockin...

good to see you have got teh comments now, here is the thing about rss feeds that i was blathering onto you about at some point...
posted 19/5/2005 by CarsmileSteve

That's exactly what i always think - but this misapprehension is NOTHING when compared with how AWFUL you think The Retro Spankees must be based on their name, and how GRATE they are in reality!

Also - will try and get RSS going soon!
posted 24/5/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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