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gig reviews - jan/feb 08


Theoretical Girl + Transformer
29.2.2008 - The Water Margin Brighton

Thank you for calling The Bank of Transformer, all our operatives are busy at the moment twiddling with their synths and effects units. Please push 1 if you liked the funky bits of Talking Heads. Please push 2 if you are a straight Scissors Sisters fan. Please push 3 if you don’ t care wither the trumpet is really being played live or is on a loop coming out of the laptop. For all other inquiries please just go see the Klaxons.

I have seen Theoretical Girl 3 times now, She/They remind me very much of an old girlfriend I had. Beautiful and immaculately dressed, but when I discovered that she had a signed Divine Comedy album, I knew I could never really love her.

Jimmy Jazz


Flesh Happenings + The Riddles + Mr Jack Cooper
27.2.2008 - The Engine Rooms Brighton

Mr Jack Cooper is one of those acts where you get a guy with some drum loops on a minidisk, some noise and some shouting. He puts on a hell of a show, doing things with the mic’ stand that wouldn’t look out of place in an early Jackie Chan movie. Some points in the show remind of of “Infected” period The The and they are great but there are too many bits that remind me more of Kevin & Perry having it large for me to really differentiate this from any other Mr with some drums on a minidisk.

The Engine Rooms is Brightons rock/goth venue, it’s had a speed ball up it’s arse in the last year and a half thanks to the Horrors and the Burlesque revival and tonight when The Riddles take to the stage I think to myself “Ah shit, some kids have got a Horrors cover band!” Fuck me but am I wrong! I haven’t seen this much energy, passion and brilliance in years. Jimmy Riddle, the tiny front man looks like Nathan Barley had a drugged up threesome with Rod Stewart and Iggy Pop, he looks perfect for this band. His bass player is Sid Vicious before he discovered the smack and still had his looks, the music is balls out scuzzy rock n roll. One min Jimmy is rolling on the floor amongst the audience finishing a three note solo and next he is sweetly apologizing for not being very entertaining. They make me feel great, they make me want to jump up and down, they make me smile, happy that I am still
alive enough to have my mind changed, this is their third gig and I believe they have already signed a nice little deal and I don’t feel jealous or bitchy, I feel happy that I got to see their third gig!

It’s already well after midnight when The Flesh Happening start up, I’ m at work in five hours, but if The Riddles made me glad I came, The Flesh Happening make me glad I stayed. They have been banned from numerous venues this lot have, wither it’s the lyrics “The world would be a better place If I had your shit on my face” from the love song “Shit On Me” or Ollie the frontman’s penchant for getting naked, crucifying himself and pulling “things”* out of his arse….now, don’t run away! I need this band and I believe you do to. For every “Tiger’s Milk”, Beiruit or Vashty Bhunyan song I listen to (and that would be LOTS) I need a Flesh Happening gig to get a balance (what I don’t need is the middle ground, middle of the road, but hey, that’s 101 other reviews/bands). I fucking love this band, an Oasis fan, a car mechanic and a librarian** backing a Germanic Iggy/Marlon Mansonesque gay icon. The music is how I imagined The Damned would have sounded live and as “Machine Gun Etiquette” is the album I keep for Friday nights before I go out, I love the music. Tonight the music is tight and loud. The music is great, and when you have to keep up with a LARGE naked man dry humping the audience while singing about “Anal Joy”, your music better be great! I stand, smiling right next to the speakers, I am watching a packed room of proudly gay men who never loved ABBA have the time of their life, there are men in suits pouring water over their heads to cool down, there’s office workers rolling round the floor and two big pierced punks holding hands and kissing, there’s pretty girls smiling, laughing and dancing to “Shit On Me”. We need this band, to kill the bland and remind us of the joys of being free.

*I didn’t ask!
**They will kill me for these rather unfair descriptions!

Jimmy Jazz


Los Campesinos/ Johny Foreigner / Esiotrot
18.2.08 - Concorde 2, Brighton

I learned 3 things tonight. I learnt that Esiotrot is pronounced “eS- ioh-trot” and not “Easy-o-trot”, I learnt that Johnny Foreigner (unlike the arctic monkeys!) are much better than their name suggests and thirdly I learnt from Los Campesinos what Tweecore was!

Esiotrot have always been great, very, very Hefner inspired which is no bad thing, especially as none of THE KIDS here to seem to know Hefner!!! They suffer from a muddy sound tonight which does seem to throw them a bit, but they are still lovely and heart warming, Indie music the way I remember it and want it to be. Go listen to their “Emily Scott”

The guitar playing in Johnny Foreigner is brilliant, that effortless loud melody noise that I’ve always wanted to be able to make…. but I’m not sure if he is playing like this because he wants to or because he has been told to by the scary schoolmarm bass player? Their music is ace, their songs are ace but, her aloof and detached persona doesn’t fit well and creates a distance from the audience that shouldn’t really be there in music that’s this much fun…It’s Kim Gordon fronting Bis and it’s the only thing (other than the name!) that doesn’t work for me about this otherwise brilliant band…get a drink down the girl. Check out their great song titles:

I think the biggest rush I ever get from great gigs, and probably the biggest compliment I could ever pay a band is that when I see them they make me want to go home and start my own band and that’s exactly what Los Campesinos do to me tonight. There’s soooo much to his band that’s brilliant, the words, the music, the performance, the one million brilliant influences battered into 3-minute vignettes of my indie life over the last twenty year. There’s a young Morrissey here, backed by a band where the energy of anger is perfectly balanced by the joie de vivre of honest Indiepop (A perfect example of this; the song title: 1997 The Year Punk Broke My Heart!). They’re writing passionate love/ly songs telling stories about you, stories that they know you care about and they want you to stop pretending that you don’t and just start dancing!

Here, if this isn’t what you want music to do to you, kill yourself:
(I don’t think it’s the girl from Johnny Foreigner, but here’s hoping!)

Jimmy Jazz


The Sleazy Maguires + The Ruby Groove + Doug Walker + Royworld
15.2.08 - Club Fandango, Night and Day Café, Manchester 

When Club Fandango first set up an outpost in Manchester I, for one, let out a faintly excited cheer. Having released material by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Six by Seven and …Trail of Dead I genuinely felt like we were about to receive a club night we so needed,  and so it was. The first Fandango nights included, love or loaths, Kaiser Chiefs (shite), Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies (brilliant in my opinion) and Hard Fi (ehhh… where am I going with this?). Anyway, the point is that, even if you didn’t like the bands, you felt like these were bands that were going somewhere. 

However, Fandango has slumped in to being just another club night with the same local acts as every other night in town. Case in point: The Sleazy Maguires. Ok, they’re not the worst band ever, they’re just uninspiring. There’s no sense that the Sleazy will do anything more than potter around the local scene until they find something else to fill their time. Their mates are down and it’s obvious they know the words but they fail to make anyone else in the venue even attempt to prick up their ears. It’s choices like this, based on how many punters a band can pull down as apposed to how good they actually are, that has led to Fandango’s fall from grace. 

The Ruby Groove, on the other hand, are what I used to go down to Fandango for. Someone, anyone, maybe even me, set up a label and sign them. The Ruby Groove, not too keen on that moniker chaps and chapess, not only produce absolutely fantastic music, they also produce an engaging performance. After each song all members, except their talented beyond belief drummer, swap instruments. Now this could come across as gimmicky and a bit crap but The Ruby Groove have it all under control. With each instrument change the band take on another facet of their personalities, be in landscape-esque epics to quirky angular rock. By the third song in you’re left in anticipation to see, and hear, what will come next.

I wish I could dedicate this entire review to just how brilliant this band are. Their myspace offers some rough demos which give a small indication to how good they surely will become. 

And now for something completely toss…

I don’t know who to detest more, Doug Walker for producing this absolutely shockingly shit, sugary sweet, sub-Ronan Keating evil, or Chris Moyles for taking it upon himself to raise Doug out of the club circuit he was so clearly destined for and playing him on radio 1.

Doug Walker is a demon redcoat sent by The Feeling to make it seem like they have some semblance of credibility.

Chris Moyles is a sad indictment of radio 1’s already embarrassing state and quite possibly the reason that suicide bombing continues around the globe.

I hate you both. 

Now, now, now. Well, will you look at that? Is that… is that Bono? No, surely not. It dresses like Bono, circa The Joshua Tree, it sounds (a bit) like Bono and those boys with instruments around it certainly think they’re backing Bono but something’s not quite right. My God… It’s a Bono waxwork, that’s it.

Nailed to the floor so as not to fall on the guitar amps, waxwork Bono fronts Royworld. Never moving, not even when the door opens letting in a gale, waxwork Bono stands with his right hand held aloft like the Olympic torch has been discreetly snatched from it. Yet no, it’s a real man and this is a real band, a real band that brings me, oh so tidily, back to my original point.

Why on earth Fandango Records have deemed this worthy of release I will never, ever, ever, comprehend. Bland, bland and three times blander, even Doug Walker’s fans could take no more and exited by the third (can I call it a) song.

What is the point? When bands like The Ruby Groove, I fear, will be left to fend for themselves in the backslapping, chin rubbing, nepotistic world of unsigned band nights, Royworld, and by the way I don’t care what the joke is your name is your best feature as it’s a stark warning to keep away, Royworld are offered recording time and a road crew and probably even have that elusive rider all bands dream of.

Sometimes, when listening to so-called ‘new music’, I get the impression I’ve missed the point. After seeing Royworld tonight, I’m glad of it 

Just a brief footnote…

After leaving the Night and Day I went down to one of the newest venues in Manchester, The Ruby Lounge (oh yes, it’s all so well plotted out). There I saw theatre, debouched, unashamed and unreserved theatre in the form of The Ape Drape Escape. I saw the Make-Up some years ago and these boys and girls brought it all back and then spat it up all over the stage. Imagine if Pulp weren’t so interested in asking the question ‘how you every noticed’ and started to ask the question ‘is it flammable’.

I wanted to proposition them to a winner takes all fisticuffs verses Royworld but then the Ruby Lounge was quite warm and we all know what happens to waxworks in heat. 

(It melts.)

Sean Gregson


Asobi Seksu
14.2.08 - ULU 

There have been many occasions when I’ve attended a gig and missed the support act, but to miss the headline band, the one you’re supposed to be reviewing in exchange for that coveted place on the guestlist, is frankly unforgivable. And so it almost came to pass. I was running late, my friend was running late, and then finally, waiting in the queue, we can hear strains of ethereal noise emanating from the gig area upstairs. Shit! That sounds like Asobi Seksu! They’ve started already! Shit!! 

But no, what we are actually hearing is the work of Ulrich Schnauss, one man and his laptop. Does anyone else think like I do that watching a solitary man tap away at a keyboard shouldn’t really be classed as entertainment? I’ll never forget my disappointment when I went so see Four Tet at The Coronet a couple of years back, thinking he was going to attempt to recreate his kaleidoscopic masterworks with the help of a live band, only for some skinny nerd with an afro to wander onstage and whip out his Apple Mac. He didn’t even have the courtesy to remove his rucksack, dear reader. Anyway, my point is, why stand and stroke your chin in wonder at a boffin when you can sit in the bar with a drink in your hand? We choose the latter option and are only coaxed out when Asobi Seksu start playing. 

In Japan, their name means “playful sex”, but there’s nary an erotic or arousing thing about guitarist James Hanna’s voice. I don’t know the name of the song on which he takes the lead vocal but he should definitely be discouraged from doing so ever again. Yuki, the elfin keyboardist, handles the rest of the evening’s singing duties with aplomb…what a pity that the material is so average. For the most part, it sounds as though Hanna and co. have worn out several copies of Isn’t Anything and still not bothered to check out much else save Sonic Youth’s back catalogue. With those influences, extra work is needed to not end up sounding like a pale imitation (shoegaze fans will be able to predict every noise freak-out way before it occurs) but Asobi Seksu can’t even be bothered to try, instead taking the obvious route with wordless vocals, whale-noise guitars and maniac drums.

Even album highlights like “Thursday” and “Strings” end up sounding as flat and uninspired as the rest of the setlist. Perhaps ten years ago, in the main tent at Reading Festival, I would have been impressed, but now it only takes five six songs before my comrade and I have had our fill and head back to the comfort of the bar.

Will Columbine


11.2.07 - Night and Day Cafe, Manchester

Reappraisal is something that all great artists will be subjected to at one time or another. Television and, to a lesser extent, The Velvet Underground both underwent a renewal of interest and praise after the first Stokes album reignited interest in New York rock and roll. Even those artists who would seem to have never left the public consciousness, such as The Beatles, Queen, and T-Rex, have been reassessed by a new generation of music fans and musicians, Oasis, The Darkness, and Devendra Banhart.
Palladium have sought to channel their musical talents, see – muso talents, into bolstering a reappraisal of an artist that, this writer felt at least, should never see the light of day. For anyone faint of heart I will make this easier to take in...
Phil Collins.

I know, they’re out on a limb, and maybe so am I, but the Phil Collins reappraisal starts here. Palladium are this children of Sir Phil, they adore early eighties keyboard ‘riffs’ (that’s right Keyboard ‘riffs’), they have a penchant for overly long songs they may imagine are ‘art rock’ but are in fact ‘crap’ (for examples see post-Peter Gabriel Genesis albums).

It’s scary but it’s true, soon enough you’ll hear statements such as:
“Against All Odds was an exceptional single but I feel I Can’t Dance was the pinnacle of Collins’ work”
And who’ll be to blame for a Collins come back including Fat Boy Slim remix albums and duets with Mary J Blige? That’s right, Palladium.

Live their sound is that of well trained and well rehearsed musos, yet for all their long solos and pop referencing they can neither come up with a decent chorus or a reasonably original guitar solo.
This comes with the added insult of a singer who repeatedly pronounces ‘dancer’ as ‘darn-sore’, a trait that may lead even the most forgiving of Palladium fans to question their judgement.
There’s plenty of women in the audience and plenty of men looking more like they’re stood in the sanitary towel section of Morrison’s rather than the Night and Day. This may well be due to the bands recent support slot with Mika... lucky them, lucky us.
I will offer some praise to their drummer who saves the band from being totally tedious, though if he starts singing we may have to take immediate action.

Sean Gregson


Get Cape Wear Cape Fly + Emmy The Great + The Xcerts
12.2.08 - Brighton Komedia

A few years back, I think it was the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, I stuck a Nirvana CD into my stereo not realising that my flatmate had left her Travis CD in there….it was weird, “what’s going on? This isn’t how I remembered Kurt’s voice…AAAAHHH!” That’s how wandering into The Xcerts gig made me feel. A little confused, a little disappointed and not really very nice. Travis couldn’t honestly make you feel bad, they were never that affective, I mean they could sing right?, and they are Scottish and all Scottish bands are great aren’t they? But this all just felt too corporate, too orchestrated…Indie Rock (aaah, who coined that horrid phrase?) where “indie” must mean “Independent Financial Advice”…this was easy listening rock music for accountants, from the stiff between song banter to the scripted “we’re rocking out now!” finale… just too safe to be rock n roll.

Emmy the Great seemed to be floundering tonight, I have a soft spot for Emmy, she’s always very pleasant and has a lovely voice, but tonight something isn’t working, maybe it’s coming on after a “rock band” maybe it’s that every time I see her she has a new band…I miss the piano.

I often wondered where all the tossers went to, and what music they listened to. Those that spend more money on their “son of faux hawk” haircuts than they their record collection, who go to indie nights but don’t dance, who support Manchester United but have never been north of Camden, who drink Magners and who annoy me! Where they go is: NME advertised gigs, what they listen to is Get Cape Wear Cape Fly…The only thing more irritating than his music is/are his fans. I feel like one of the cast of Shameless who has mistakenly wandered into Hollyoaks (woop deeh dooh…didn’t Sam Duckworth just record for Hollyoaks…Shock news!) He bounds on all cheeky chappy like Buddy Holley trying (and failing) to do a Beth Ditto impersonation. I was at a Darren Hayman gig the other week and it was only half full, tonight there must be nearly 500 here to see this non-sense. Indie here seems to mean “educated at an Independent school”…it’s like an old boys club or the Masons…( Lilly Allan, Emmy The Great, The Kooks and the Geldoff kids actually all went to the same school) It seems that Indie really has stopped being about the music and now is all about the advertising….Get Coat, Call Taxi, FUCK OFF!

Jimmy Jazz


Queens of The Stone Age
10.2.2008 - Leeds University Refectory

Looking forward to things is dangerous. Heightening your anticipation of an event will, obviously, increase the chances of greater disappointment. I get excited about things I like very easily, if you're a band I like and you're touring I'll get giddy, if you are KISS or Van Halen and you present me with the opportunity to see you live, I'll explode with glee. I am however, always aware that I'm setting myself up for a gigantic fall. When a band I like releases an album, I will plead "please don't be rubbish" to the CD I've bought anyway. I am a fan boy.

However, I have impeccable taste and a discerning ear, so I'm rarely left wanting and often have my theory that joy and wonder are better than scepticism and caution proved correct. Queens of The Stone Age on Sunday was no exception, in fact it went further than that, because the last time I saw them they were just 'really good'. They played a lot of popular songs and then left. This time, they start with '…Millionaire' for the first time (I think) since Nick Oliveri left. Mikey Shoes does an impressive job. They play 'In the Fade', 'Burn the Witch' and 'Regular John' and all the other songs I wanted to hear. They choose very well from Era Vulgaris and manage to miss 'Feel good Hit…' and 'Lost Art…' without anyone caring. Best of all they experiment on stage (in a way they haven't in the last few times I've seen them) and pull off these departures from the recorded music in such a way as to enhance the songs and the night, rather than disappear into self indulgent jamming. (I did like it when Josh Homme was obsessed with false endings though).

That sections of the crowd are inanimate during all but the encore (which includes 'No One Knows' and a MIGHTY 'A Song for the Dead') is a crime because this was an energised, tight, playful QOTSA hitting a groove that comes from having an established touring band and the knowledge that all the songs are favourite songs. That was the best I have seen them.

Christopher Carney


Lightspeed Champion
05.02.08 - Exeter Cavern 

Tuesday night came with enough new music to melt the pages of NME, winding up with the ever lively but deadly American Semifinalists the evening powered through with excitement buzzing for man-of-the-moment. Lightspeed Champion. Buried deep under Exeter’s streets hid the latest songwriter-of-the-times. The former brains of genre-mashers Test Icicles is on the acoustic-crusade (theoretically heading for a savage car crash of music but in reality pure genius ringing from every string strummed), fresh onto the scene the modest Dev comfortably brings indie-folk to the eyes and ears of the tightly packed crowd. The ‘secret’ folk-ridden soul of Exeter unravelled with aural pleasures to ‘Midnight Surprise’ and ‘Galaxy of the Lost’. Stretching to the late night the personalised set induced tales of good, bad and I guess ugly amongst tight musicianship and the violin vox. Charmed beyond belief we stumbled home, acoustic guitars and Hynes on our minds. Lightspeed became champion, and we’re lusting for it again.

Erin Kubicki


Slow Club
4.2.08 - Cardiff Barfly

The Barfly, has never been a favourite venue of mine, however with Slow Club, a bad situation can always be turned into a positive one. This was the last gig of the pair's tour. Delivering a great selection of dreamy indie pop songs with panache and genuinely cool melodies their joint vocals are catchy and clear. Their music is just gagging for a hot summers day and a cold beer.
The build up was nothing exciting with the Wave Pictures pulling out it was all a bit disappointing however The Duo pulled it back leaving me with lyrics singing in my ears all the way home. Each song was brilliantly executed with some excellent chair playing and beautiful harmonies. Delicate, dreamy and honest this pair are endearing and enjoyable. They appeared tired on stage and technical hiccups did not help lighten their mood. They seemed glad to leave the stage after a long tour however, seeing them twice now I would not hesitate to see them again and with a new album on the way Slow Club are well worth a listen and not about to disappear yet.

Gareth Ludkin


The Kabeedies + The Madrigals + The Bobby McGees
3.2.2008 Sunday Sermons – Brighton

"Sunday Sermons" hailed by Everett True in Plan B magazine as the UK's finest Anti-folk night is having a birthday party tonight…. The party starts of with a little accousic set from The Bobby McGee's, complete with twee fireworks (a 21 Party Popper salute from the audience, mid waltz) and the usual torrent of sweary words from Jimmy, only slightly toned down because his parents are in the audience "I'd like to see that c* Paolo Nutini try n sing this dad!" as he launches into a song with the catchy chorus of "Fuck you all everything you stand for"…. You either love the Bobby Mcgees or you are an idiot. It's often embarrassing to watch a band have to perform after them, but tonight the Bobby Mcgees have hand picked the bands playing with them.

The first are the very wonderful Madrigals (www.myspace. com/themadrigals) They are beautiful and fey, very English, modern, pastoral sounding folk without the irritating laptops, comedy instruments or passe loop pedals. To me they are The Famous Five dancing with Belle Sebastian …every song is a new and exciting adventure with banjos being swapped for violins, guitars for xylophones and accordians and it is all very exciting. The Madrigals have some of the best melodies since that "Young Folks" tune except, well, 1. They can pull it off live 2. Their melodies don't get iritating after a third listen (check out "What Goes Around Comes Around on their MYSPACE…it's almost, dare I say, advertastic!) 3. They have more than one great melody! With a few more gigs they are going to be fantastic and I believe very popular.

The Kabeedies ( come on like a bunch of BIS fans who stopped listening after kandypop. Coming all the way from Norwich for tonight, they are friendly with other Norwich tweepopnutters Bearsuit and they have the tunes and energy to match but while Bearsuit always seem to have something missing on each of the several times I have seen them live, The Kabeedies have it nailed. "Petitt Filous" was easily my Indie Pop Hit of 2007 (and by that I mean "BEST SONG of 2007") but that's not all they have; "Dark hair, dark eyes, I'm going to get her. Failed 1st time but this time I'll do better... In reference to a song by Roxy Music; Love is the Drug I'm going to use it!" ("Paddling", but hey, listen to everything on their myspace)
This is utterly perfect pop…they are beautiful, clever and only fucking 16!

Jimmy Jazz


The Ting Tings + Does it Offend You Yeah + Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong + The Cribs
2.2.2008 - NME Tour, Manchester Academy 

The Ting Tings are a funny pair. You want the good bits? Ok then. The Ting Tings (what the Dickens were they thinking when they came up with that? They used to be called Dear Eskimo, which is about seven billion times better a name than The Ting Tings, don’t you agree?), anyway, this two piece, once in their stride, sounded like Talking Heads, if Talking Heads had been a no-nonsense pop act and Tina Waymouth had sung... shit, they’re Tom Tom Club. They’re Girls Aloud as would have been if Tom Tom Club had produced them. If this review were for Drummer Weekly then Ting Tings would be band of the week, however, this isn’t and they’re not. Their last song ‘That’s not my name’ is so fucking irritating it makes you want to push your fingers inside your ears. ‘They call me Ted, they call my Brian, that’s not my name, that’s not my name’, who gives a shit. Just tell them they’ve made a mistake and ignore it. In fact their singer-cum-(awful) guitarist basically spends most of the set trying to make you hate the Ting Tings. From her stupid hat to her screechy voice to lyrics such as ‘you play me like a fruit machine’. Still, that drummer...  

Does it Offend you Yeah (or Does it Offend you, Yes? as grammatical warrior Lynne Truss would have it) are, without doubt, the bestest best band since... Oh, I don’t know but since a while. Their guitarist-singer-keyboardist-cow bell hitter-crowd invader-man is the cutest human being I’ve ever seen on stage. He does the usual ‘Manchester, we’ve been waiting for this gig, this is the best place we’ve ever played’, and, call me easily lead, I believe him.

Most bands think that to be iconic you need to pull pouty faces and look like the crowd are beneath you (ok, they are, but still....) and that’s just not true. Does Offend... are iconic because they do just the opposite. They engage the crowd, they want you to be in their little gang and their music is fantastic. Did any of you purchase the soundtrack to the film Judgement Night? You know when Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill collaborated (as did Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul)? Well, Does it Offend... are better than that.  From the first song to the last Does it Offend... are on form, they could be life changing if you fancy having your life altered by pounding drums, dirty, really dirty, guitars and imaginative samples. I love them... I do.

And they have a vocoder... the case for the defence rests.   

Joe Lean and the blah, blah and blah are Top Man employees with instruments. They are, literally, the most objectionable band in the history of overly-confident, cravat wearing, chop-chop-chop guitar playing cocks.

Loath them, disregard them, weep for them, just, please, don’t buy their music for the love of God. Fingers crossed they’ll be back in store sorting the mediums from the smalls any day now, just let’s home there’s not too many people who’ve lost their first Strokes album and buy this crap as replacement. 

The Cribs... Ah, The Cribs. I’ll be honest, I hate the Cribs and, as such, I went home. They probably would have been a welcome reprieve from Joe Lean etc, etc and etc yet so would being mugging, with punching and kicking and headbutting. Maybe they were breathtaking, maybe they were revolutionary. That, though, would have meant them sacking themselves and employing an entirely new band to play entirely different songs. If that did happen then I apologise, Tasty readers... but it didn’t though... did it?

Sean Gregson

Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
2.2.2007 - Manchester Academy

If Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong put as much effort into their music as they obviously do picking the rails of H&M, they would be the kings of indie rock. Unfortunately they don’t. Their ridiculous Robert Smith turned funeral director style would be more suited to a cheaper, softer version of My Chemical Romance.

Joe Lean obviously attempts to model his vocal style on that of Paul Weller; attempts being the appropriate word.  But what did I expect. There recent single “Lonely Buoy” should have warned me off them. Hearing it live certainly has.

Paul Merril


Yeborobo + Cleckhuddersfax

26.1.08 - Prince Albert Brighton


What got people into Jazz in the first place was the melody and Cleckhuddersfax have remembered this, sure there's madness, electricity and noise but pinning it all down is some cracking melody coming mainly from the Grizzly Adams of a man filling up the middle of the stage, hulking over his keyboards reminding me of how  a wired Kerouac banging his random thoughts into his typewriter must have looked… the melody makes that train of thought come alive and it takes the form of an orange leotarded* lunatic bouncing round both stage and audience with an abandon that can  only come from having Osama Bin Laden sewn into your crotch (I was told it was Osama, I wasn't going to stare at this crotch to find out!) This is what Jazz was its noise, its melody, its anger its release and it is ace. I will be seeing Cleckhuddersfax again.


Yeborobo are a fight in a primary school painting class, The Wizzard of Oz played backwards through a ripped speaker, an epileptic Sun Ra at Mardi Gras and that's where comparisons end. I don't mean comparisons with Sun Ra, I mean comparisons with anything. Andrew IS Sun Ra, Sun Ra gone supernova. An eruption of colour from the thick green knitted trousers to the huge gold and red wig, he is the cheeky, cute kid in the class that all the mums love and he gets cuter every time you see him. Russell looks like the kid at school whose big brother was into Iron Maiden, he plays like he is in Nirvana but he just has to be in Yeborobo. Matt is the class swot, he is the first to start every song reminding the others how they go (although WHERE they go is another question). When he leaves school he will be in Heffner but now he to has to be in Yeborobo. The percussionist, well, he isn't so much dressed as Iorek Byrnison as dressed IN Iorek Byrnison looking like he has got the rest of Yeborobo to ambush the giant polar bear at lunch time while he took a run up and dived in head first. Sophie is the school teacher conducting the recorder band at parents evening challenging the mums and dads; "Yes, isn't it lovely?" and if she'd been my primary school teacher then I would have been first in line to join that recorder band.


The primary school is where it's at with Yeborobo. They personify how you imagined being a "pop star" was when you were eight and first heard about this thing called "The Sex Pistols" and started daydreaming. Do you remember how happy music made you then and do you remember why? Yeborobo do and they make me happy!


Word is that they turned down a tour with the Klaxons because one of them wanted to work on his NOISE side project. Now that's not the only reason you could give for turning down that tour, but, inline with everything else Yeborobo do, it's the best I've heard. 


* I wanted to use "be-leotarded", spell checked "leotarded" and WORD suggested "retarded" which would have been wrong.


Jimmy Jazz


Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong

25.1.08 - Brighton Freebutt


I got there in time to catch a Strokes cover band. How quaint cover bands are, god bless 'em with their little retro clothes, their little retro guitars and their little retro haircuts. They make their money, and some have no other way of making money but I'm afraid that I'm with Malcolm McLaren when it comes to covers, they are all shit.

Now, a Pipettes cover band I would have put up with, that would have had a sense of fun to it and brought out some smiles at the end of a wet January however this Strokes cover band, well, it's just mediocrity in a nice pair of trousers.


Jimmy Jazz