Monday, 20 October 2008


I finished work at 9pm in Scarborough and flew over the moors back to Whitby grinding gears and shattering speed limits like nobody's business. I was like Lewis Hamilton, except in a Peugeot 106 instead of one of those big Formula One cars. On some straight stretches I was topping 50mph!

At one point something dashed out across the road, and I hit it a glancing blow. I honestly thought I'd killed a badger. Sure enough, on arriving home there were black and white hairs on the bumper. Poor thing.

The next morning there was a news report stating that ex World of Sport anchorman Dickie Davies had failed to return home after a solo evening hike on the North Yorks Moors. Putting two and two together, and bearing in mind his two tone coiffure, I realise now that in my haste to catch Scarlett Alliance at The Met, I may have accidentally hit the erstwhile iconic ITV presenter on a night time ramble.

Dickie, this one's for you!

Needless to say, I missed Scarlett Alliance, who I would have really liked to hear. They got a good review from Jean for the Homegrown gig. I have to disagree with her about joining up with other musicians to form a bigger band with more clout, for want of a better word, though. I like the fact that not everybody forms guitar/bass/vocals/drums outfits. The same with High Tide, who I also failed to catch. The addition of a minimal percussionist is a great move, but I don't think they need any more embellishment. What they do is what they do.

Apparently Jack was happy with the Scarlett Alliance performance, but I think he wished they'd played through a bigger amp or something. I know Sam had tonsillitis which meant they didn't have a Friday rehearsal. Jack told me when I saw him on Baxtergate. If you want to go Whitby Popspotting, Baxtergate is our Sunset Boulevard. And Botham's do a lovely cup of tea. Brack too.

The Committee play very competently, and they actually benefitted from the sound quality at The Met. To me the acoustics always give the impression that the gig is taking place in a huge biscuit tin. It made their guitars a bit more grungified and ever so slightly dirty.

Its true what Jean says, they need some sort of stage presence to evolve. A chemistry of some sort needs to become evident when a band performs. They did a few of their own songs, which were fine and dandy. Popwatch loves original songs. Then they did this...

I probably should know what it is, but I don't. I liked it though. Unfortunately they followed it with Chasing Cars and Sweet Caroline, much to everyone's delight. I say REBEL COMMITTEE, REBEL! Go on, upset your Mums.

Yabbadabbadoo set this whole thing up to raise money for Whitby Now. It would have been nice if more punters had turned up, but those that did venture out were treated to a fabulous Rock Night of entertainment.

The Yabbas took to the stage, and it was as effortless as ever. they make it look so easy, which it isn't, by Jimminy. My particular favourite was this cover of Love Me Like You , a song by the poptastic Magic Numbers. Superb. The sound quality is a result of all those sonic waves swirling around that high dancefloor ceiling.

During a routine visit to the clean and user friendly Met bogs, I could hear through the closed door that someone was performing in the bar. On further investigation it turned out to be no other than Mark Liddell. I ordered a beer and had a sit down in one of the comfy chairs to drink in some of Mark's melodic loveliness.

Tom, a builder who once did our bathroom up for us was there with his partner Dee. She reckoned Mark's voice has become smokier of late. All the better to do songs like Dirty old Town I'd say.

For educational purposes, contrast and compare this version of Joe Jackson's Is She Really Going Out With Him? with the previous tunes in this article, and I think you'll agree, it was a veritable Kellog's Variety pack of an evening.

I used to always go for the Coco pops when I was younger, but I've grown out of the sweet toothiness of that now. I prefer common or garden Corn Flakes, although I do stray into Special K territory sporadically.

When I went back into the main hall to catch the tail end of The Yabbas' set, dancing was taking place. The world seemed to be a happy planet and Whitby, at least a bit of it , was rocking.

I returned home for a nice cup of tea and some cheese on crackers, before scraping the remaining bits of Dickie Davies' bouffant off the car.

If anybody who saw them play fancies reviewing High Tide or Scarlett Alliance, please feel free to do so.


WhitbyNowSec said...

thanks for the review Chris (RIP Dickie!) I was a bit disappointed not to be able to get to this gig cos of a stupid holiday on a ridiculously beautiful Italian island - but hey, I suppose you can't have everything. So it was good to hear the clips too.
and Mark singing in the bar - what a bonus - and all not far from your own front door. Shame The Met has such rubbish sound. I understand what you say about not wanting all bands to sound and appear the same - that would be very dull indeed. I suppose my concerns were maybe more about lack of experience than how many band members there are, and also the size of the venue can make such a big difference. I suppose I am just a bit worried that our duos might be a bit lost on the Whitby Now stage as compared to our bands. I am sure you will understand that as it is something you feel yourself when you are performing.

Chris said...

Thanks Jean. Blimey, you're always on holiday, you are.

I was sorry to miss High Tide and Scarlett Alliance. I always end up getting to gigs late these days.

Its not so much that I feel lost on stage. Its more to do with the fact that I rely on people picking up every word, otherwise the poems don't work, and I always seem to be doing stuff whilst a band tunes up in the background. I finish up having to shout, and that spoils it too. I like being close to the audience.

I think the duos will be fine as long as they approach it with confidence and attitude. With a good PA and a nice mix they'll storm it. There's a lot to look forward to this year!