A shout out to Jamboree at Cable Street Studios, all cosy and home-made bohemian. Creep through the curtained doorway and into a dimly lampplit old garage space that’s been done up with car boot furniture, handy shelves of books in the corner and v. splendidly crafted ‘future events’ booklets scattered on the bar. I often think that gigs would be improved if I could have a nice sit down, (if there’s no dancing to be had, legs just get achey and seize up) but still be at the front, and that’s exactly what I get here. A comfy chair, a bottle of beer and an entertaining array of bands. And just a short bus ride from home. Aces!
My Sad Captains play a sweet set of their cheery twisty country-psych tinged pop. They sound summery and chirpy, jangly and wibbly. The girl on keyboards seems to have had a head transplant, or maybe it’s a new girlonkeyboards – like on Australian soaps when a regular character comes back played by a completely different actor and nobody passes comment.
Gossamer Albatross are all rather young and rather posh, which of course isn’t a crime, but keeps us amused. Best bit of their set is the singer offering up “Mega props to my Mum” a ha ha ha ha! I cackle with hilarity for the whole of the next song. The songs are quite pleasant sea-shanty, swirlish dramatic thingies with cello and double violin attack, snorting nostrils and flashing eyes, but they sound a bit, um, samey. Still, megaprops to my mum, ah ha ha! Also, the cellist might want to invest in a longer skirt. Or wear some trousers. Just saying.
Jeremy Warmsley, producer of A Classic Education’s new single and thus integral to tonight’s proceedings, plays a brief set of viciously strummed acoustic guitar and tricksy lyrics sung in a gulping, gliding voice. He asks for requests, we get Abba sung as a sob-hearted ballad.
A Classic Education thrilled us at Indietracks and manage the same trick tonight. Their songs sound like stormy nights with racing clouds, lamps shining in windows, dark trees silhouetted on hilltops. They play with an urgency that makes the songs seem like a matter of life and death, the violinist sweeping and swooping, the guitarist singing with hands either side of his mouth like he has to communicate across vast distances, it’s exciting if you let yourself get carried along. They also play a beguiling English language version of ‘Toi’ from the Italian film “Io la Conoscevo Bene” . Its lilting loungeyness fits the surroundings brilliantly. There are plenty more thrilling tunes to be had; fireworks bursts of euphoria on ‘Stay Son’, the fluttering swell of ‘Wartimes’, and the new single ‘Best Regards’ which hurtles along fuelled by frantic guitar, is made ornate by luscious keyboard and violin, then topped off with staccato handclaps – exhilaratingly turbulent pop. We’re sold and get ourselves a copy of the 7 inch on the way out – nice cover too.