Kate Nash/Metronomy/Dockers MC @ Birmingham Irish Centre, 9/11/07

I’d never been to the Irish Club before and it was nothing like I expected. If anything it looked like a school hall, only one with a bar on the right-hand side of it. It was probably the murals on the walls that did it but the place is carpeted too which doesn’t tally with my expectations for a proper gig venue – it wasn’t even sticky. Anyway, I missed the first act, Natty, but arrived just in time to catch the end of Dockers MC, a young poet who seemed to be doing a decent job of entertaining the crowd down the front, even if the rest of the crowd were chatting away noisily. What’s not to love about poets as extra support acts? I don’t want to reduce their art to filler but a few well chosen spoken words are a great way to keep the entertainment flowing between bands. Continue reading “Kate Nash/Metronomy/Dockers MC @ Birmingham Irish Centre, 9/11/07”

Shy Child @ Bar Academy, 27/10/07

No-one ever came up with a better name for it than nu-rave did they? No-one came up with an alternative that stuck anyway. Who cares what’s in a name anyway? If the original rave scene hasn’t been reborn by a bunch of indie kids with drum machines and keyboards, so what? If you’re that literal minded then wait til you hear about other instruments being used in drum n bass other than drums and bass. Don’t tell anyone, but there’s not much in the way of blues in some RnB songs.What was I talking about? Oh yeah. For all the exciting new bands that have sprung up in the last couple of years that could be loosely grouped into the nu-rave camp I’ve only caught a couple of them live (Hadouken!, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and, at a push, the punctuationless Hot Chip) so I was looking forward to catching Shy Child doing their thing. Continue reading “Shy Child @ Bar Academy, 27/10/07”

Flamboyant Bella @ Bar Academy, 21/10/07

In time-honoured fashion I turned up too late to catch any of the support acts, but only barely. I got to the top of stairs to find myself dodging sweat-covered, panting kids making their way back from the stage. I couldn’t help feeling I’d missed something so I grabbed a drink and took in my surroundings. The place had been taken over with kids, some clearly pushing the 14+ age limit. What the heck was that about? Perhaps all the older people were at the main Academy next door for the NME tour and I’d wandered into an indie crèche or something. Still, there’s nothing like the enthusiasm of youth to knock a twenty-something’s cynicism, and Flamboyant Bella aren’t a band that have much truck with cynicism. If you’ve encountered them then there’s a good chance it’s been via their Myspace where, still unsigned, they’re racking up friends like nobody’s business. Or perhaps you’ve thrilled to the sounds of their two EPs with their perky, occasionally jangly, indie guitar-synth-pop happiness. Continue reading “Flamboyant Bella @ Bar Academy, 21/10/07”