The Maccabees/Laura Marling @ Birmingham Academy, 7/10/07

I have to say I didn’t used to like The Maccabees. In fact I didn’t dislike them. I nothinged them. They were another one of the wearying stream of bands that have nothing but a tenuous USP to distinguish them – the one with their dad in, the ones that used to be banned everywhere cos their mates were a bit lairy, the Young Knives (um, do they even have a ‘thing’) and the ones that are from Leeds but aren’t the Kaiser Chiefs.You know what I mean? A constant flow of bands tumbling off the treadmill that are fine and maybe reasonably good but can anyone really get that excited about them? (As an aside – someone reading over my shoulder just mentioned the Kaisers’ vid for ‘Everything Is Average’. Tom Lehrer would have something good to say about that).

The point I’m slowly creeping up on? Well, to that list I’d have added The Maccabees – the ones who sing about a swimming pool. Continue reading “The Maccabees/Laura Marling @ Birmingham Academy, 7/10/07”

Feist @ The Glee Club, 22/07/07

I have a pretty dreadful record when it comes to catching support acts. When I think about it it’s a pretty irrational thing, I mean, I’m all in favour of value for money and live music for live music’s sake and a support act gives you both. So what’s the problem? I’ve probably missed out on a few corkers down the years who’ve gone on to big things too.It’s probably because too often the support act is an afterthought, called up at the last minute. Or maybe their label’s paying the main act to drag them around on tour. Or maybe they’re the support act because they’re actually not really that good. Anyway, I didn’t catch the name of the support act for this show but they were limp and insipid to the point of unbearableness. I’m glad I only caught the second half of their set. Continue reading “Feist @ The Glee Club, 22/07/07”

Operator Please @ Birmingham Barfly, 8/09/07

It’s a funny business going to a gig specifically to review it, especially when you only have a fleeting familiarity with the band you’re going to see. Often instead of losing yourself in the music, jumping around like a loon and enjoying yourself you’ll stand there trying to make a note of what was played when and forming enough of an impression to put it into words. It doesn’t feel right, like you’re taking a joke apart to point out why it’s funny. Anyway, I say this because I’m pretty sure my experience of Operator Please was pretty different to that of most others who saw them. The show, scheduled before the Barfly’s regular Saturday night indie-fest, was a ‘Levis One To Watch’ showcase. There was a reasonable crowd of people meeting up and getting the first drinks of the night in. Continue reading “Operator Please @ Birmingham Barfly, 8/09/07”