Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Under Gazebo and Umbrella (ella, ella etc), Ruswarp Feels the Love of Whitby Now

The Bridge Inn, Ruswarp, 2.9.08, Whitby Now Fundraiser

One day, the young amongst our number are going to look back on nights like this one with a wistful fondness, recalling a sense of community perhaps lost, a sense of fun perhaps forgotten, a sense of promise and excitement perhaps faded. Yes you will, you cynical little bleeders.

So you got to hear great live music, in Ruswarp of all places, and they let you eat sausages and smoke fags, the former being for free.

High Tide were as impressive as they were a fortnight ago. Drummerless this time, Paul Whittaker added variety to the sound with his West Coast guitar. I want to hear them with a full band - just as an experiment, mind; you wouldn't want them ending up sounding like the Eagles or anything. Gothenburg is still the hit (pending), but there was further original material on show, and hopes are high for more to come. They're young, good looking, popular, and if they're not having vastly more fun than I did at their age, then they're fucking idiots.

Yabbadabbadoo are still your ultimate jukebox band for a cracking night out, running the gamut of pop to punk and back again, with no noticeable detours. In their current formation, they have little ambition beyond entertaining an audience, and they are all the better for it. Best track of the night was, of all things, Chasing Cars. What James Wales remembers, when he sings this corny song, is that it is supposed to be both moving and humorous, in equal measure. If only a zillion karaoke crooners could treat it to even half as good a performance.

Chris the Poet
, late and flustered,
Took the stage and sniffed the air.
"Hot dogs," he pondered, "sauce and mustard,
Could there be a poem there?"
Black of shoe, brown of jacket,
He stood and shook his auburn hair*.
"Shall I?" he thought. "Oh no, fuck it.
The subject's boring and all I'd end up doing is rhyming it, in some sort of ridiculous contrivance, with, for example, 'Claire'. Which wouldn't be fair."
(*artistic license)

So he didn't. (Actually he didn't even eat any sausages. For all I know he might be a vegetarian. He's never said one way or the other.) Instead he did a couple of old favourites - including the full, unreleased version of Country Song, which got a previously half-interested audience on-side, primed, moistened, and ready for...

Panda Lasagne. Stars. On form, such as you wouldn't believe. Highlight was the newly-comprehensible Swim. Excitement, intensity, razor-sharp smartness and frantic silliness. Luke Pearson joined for Housewives' Choice.

I'd go on about it, but it's pointless trying to describe what's happening when people are absolutely at the top of their game. Except to say that you, the audience, need to go and see them, like now. Nothing lasts forever, said the reviewer, sternly.

Then the rains came. Mark Liddell and Paul Whittaker attempted to restrict their set to one song, thus saving themselves from electrocution. But ML found himself unable to stop, and an epic medley ensued, aided by various Yabbadabbadoos, which traced a non-chronological history of rock 'n' roll interspersed with hideous cracklings from saturated amplifiers and live microphones, each one of which seemed to signal certain death for the pub-rock maestros. But like Gloria Gaynor, they survived, and I for one salute them.


WhitbyNowSec said...

Brilliant review Jon. I would just like to point out that the sodding sausages were not free. It was a pound for a hotdog! so anyone who had one and didn't pay can forward the money to me. I wondered why the BBQ didn't take much money.
the music was free
the candles were free
the bonhomie was free
but the sausages were a pound.
Just thought I would clear that up.
x jean

Chris said...

Thanks for the superb review Jon, but I'd also like to point out that the poems weren't free either. I did four, so if everybody could send £4 as soon as possible I'd be most grateful.

Actually its £3.50, as one poem was partially written by The Shangri-Las.

FredFlintstone said...

If we are all charging for the quality of services provided, we (YabbaDabbaDoo) did 7 songs, so that's 70p please.

The Invisible Mice said...

I can see the Gazette headlines now... Whitby Now Sausagegate Shocker!

Seriously though, if anyone didn't pay for a sausage that is just plain mean. Jean puts loads of effort into the fundraising for Whitby Now and spends hours, days and weeks organising raffles, draw cards and BBQ's... a quid for a sausage in a good cause seems like a good deal to me... pay up or face a visit from the sausage police!!

Jon said...

Me: How much for a hot dog, pal?
Man with tongs: Buns are over there.

Having grown up in Grimsby, I still tend to regard conversations like this as normal. Sorry.

WhitbyNowSec said...

You just can't find the staff these days!

groke said...

Great night and review!

It's a pity that after getting caught up in the good music, rain and fund-raising an unintentional avoidance of the correct sausage fees was retrospectively discovered. I was told they were free too!

james_lasagne said...

i thought the evening was a treat, on behalf of the pandas we would like to say thank you to you all for being such good people to us, and we hope to see you all soon, all the rest of the bands that night were spot on !!!

WhitbyNowSec said...

Now isn't that nice. Not only was the comment completely sausage free - it was a "thank you". You are welcome James!
I would like to say how much I enjoyed Chris's poems. I thought they added a great dimension to the evening and cheered everyone up. Even me. xx

Paul MacCartney said...

I just ate crisps! Which I had stolen

Paul MacCartney said...

I would also like to point out that a certain Carl Robinson played that evening! and he was fab, and he paid for two hot dogs and a steak sandwich, afterwards stating that they were delicious, well worth the paltry fee and that anyone that tries to scam one should be made to listen to Mark Liddell all night!

Jon said...

I didn't see Carl Robinson, and therefore have no rational reason to believe in his existence. Whilst I respect the ancient traditions of Robinsonists, I don't feel that I have to pander to their superstitious med├Žival beliefs in my reviews of local live music events.

FredFlintstone said...

Mark Liddell enjoys the odd large sausage!