Good Shoes/Lightspeed Champion – Birmingham Academy 2, 11/11/07

Musical taste is a strange and wonderful creature. Not content to divide bands between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ there’s an annoying subset I call ‘good on paper but you’d rather not actually listen to them, y’know?’. Catchy, isn’t it? These ones tick all the right boxes and should be right up your metaphorical alley but something doesn’t click and the chemistry isn’t there.That was the Test Icicles for me. On paper there was so much to recommend them – they made an almighty, parent-baiting racket, had stupid names, lacked anything approaching professionalism and split after one album. Oh, and theirs is the only wikipedia entry that has ever made me laugh (History, para 3). But for all that my heart didn’t like them as much as my head said it should. Continue reading “Good Shoes/Lightspeed Champion – Birmingham Academy 2, 11/11/07”

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”