Click Here For A Tribute To Jack's Shoes
Writing a blog can be a lonely lifestyle choice. Sitting here on a Wednesday night with the rain hammering against the window and a tiny woodlouse scuttling over the laminate floor under the gas fire, which remains switched off due to escalating fuel bills. Maybe he's going to a woodlouse gig?
Anyway, tonight the renowned art critic Brian Sewell has found a window in his busy schedule to help me on POPWATCH. He's agreed to cast an expert eye over the posters each of the bands fashioned for this show. I hope you find his insights enlightening.
THE SCARLETT ALLIANCE
This was the first time The Scarlett Alliance had played as a duo, so understandably nerves were in evidence. Speaking to Jack after the set, he admitted that his head was down at the start, but after a few numbers were safely under his belt, he gained in confidence and started realising that they have every right to be proud.
A nice raw guitar sound and Sam's solid drumming propelled the songs forward, and its so refreshing to hear something other than a guitar/bass/drums/vocals combo. Personally I was looking forward to their second set, only to be told they weren't doing one! Bah!
Sam says they had practiced one long(ish) set, so that's what they did. I would have liked to have seen them take to the stage a second time, because I think they would have gained some bottle and been a bit more brassy. Failing that, maybe one of the bands should have opened the evening and The Scarletts maybe gone on after that. But its all conjecture, and I know Sam and Jack will be writing some new original material to engage our ears at a later date, because they said so. I hope they were pleased with their first ever gig. They certainly should be.
BRIAN SEWELL SAYS...
Ah, the lure of scarlet and the vision of young men portrayed on a strip of celluloid at a jaunty angle. This composition cleverly juxtaposes the motifs of film, conjuring up images of Hollywood in all its decadent, technicolor glory, with some writing that tells you what time to come.
It's aesthetics and function, if you will, combined in one dazzling artifact. A red and black manifesto of intent and meaning. A bit of paper with some pictures on, to be brutally honest.
3 FOOT NINJA
Firstly I should apologise for taking so long to put 3 Foot Ninja's link up here on this POPWATCH blog thingy. Its my fault because it seems there's something that doesn't allow bands to join me as MySpace friends. I've no idea how that happened, but I intend to sort it out quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.
Speaking of Jack Robinson, its a complete coincidence that 3 Foot Ninja actually have no one in the band of that name. Joe Bell plays bass, his brother Jordan is the guitarist and Sam Power drums like a dervish. They all sing too, which I always think must be particularly hard if you're a drummer. Mind you, Phil Collins used to do it, didn't he? He was rubbish though.
The Ninjas were thoroughly professional, as befits a band that has supported The Subways on tour, and as full of energy as one of those radioactive clouds off science fiction films that has lightning inside it. Highlights of their set were Bloke I Don't know, which was released as a single, and Nightmare Return with its catchy 'She's in the back of your mind' chorus. Apparently they're currently working on another single. I bet its Nightmare Return? Good song, that.
BRIAN SEWELL SAYS...
Notice the use of many different typefaces in this magnificent visual feast. They represent the difficulty and futility of ever finding love in a bitingly negative world, with all its different multi layered methods of communication.
The boy with the guitar clearly stands for the torch of reason, shining out like a beacon of light in a desolate wasteland. Or Loftus, as I believe its known round here.
James Forster is as daft as a brush. For the first set he wore a funny hat and a green shirt with a white cross on it. For the second set he donned a ridiculous black sticky out wig. Then somebody told me it was his real hair! Sean Danby played drums with aplomb (which is normally a word reserved for use only by football commentators), and Mike Purves played bass with, well, a plectrum I would imagine.
That's the trouble with the youth of today, instead of joining The Boy's Brigade or doing voluntary work in a Nursing Home owned by a millionaire with cold eyes, they insist on grouping together and playing loud music to dissolute drinkers in previously respectable hostelries.
Stupid Tourists was marvellous, as always. There seemed to be one about tying up your shoes and standing in poo, which is a subject not covered by many bands, so hats off to The Panda's for drawing to our attention the shoe/poo interface scenario.
There was a very brave and moving song about James' Dad too. Respect!
BRIAN SEWELL SAYS...
The first thing you notice is that there are no people in this renaissance masterpiece. The rectangular shapes of the amp and speaker contrast with the guitar's slender neck leading to the body of the instrument with its feminine, almost voluptuous curves. But I'm not really into that kind of thing, me.
Interestingly, the artist wants us to arrive at 7.30 on this one, a full 30 minutes earlier than the others! Is there really any benefit in being premature? My partner claims not.
I'm told that the manufacturers named this particular amp in my honour. I thank them for it, but I can't quite make out what it says!
Bye for now.
Many thanks to Jean, who contributed all the band photos without knowing.