I don’t know if it was the fact that we were child free for a few hours of because we had just gone a bit silly in the excitement of going out but either way we were excited! The Duchess and I picked up Clem and squeezed into our van, blasting The Dowling Poole on the way to Cardiff (I had gone to watch them last night and needed the world to hear them).
As per usual I parked a million miles away from the venue because I’m too stingy to pay for parking. Clem has always been a little concerned about my choice of parking especially as after the last time we went to see The Burning Hell our car got locked in and we had to take refuge at my friend’s house which led to a lot more unintentional drinking.
As we sped our way through town to Clwb we were hounded by the leaflet dispatching ghouls of ‘clubland’ my tactic that night was to tell them that we were Mormons. We considered holding hands but decided not to. Each cocktail-deal based venue we past seemed to be featuring a ropey cover band and we talked about their potential set lists: Summer of 69, Sultans of Swing, Hotel California, Living on A Prayer, La La Bamba, that sort of thing!
“Haha” we laughed, we were going to see a real band, from Canada, ‘haha’ to all these ropey bands!
We got to Clwb late and so we only caught the last three HITS of the support band; Francesca’s Word Salad. We will be coming out to see a full set at the next given opportunity because she and her band were awesome. Imagine Squirrel Nut Zippers meet 3 Mustafa 3 in a bar up a mountain in a distant country and they all start playing whilst drunk but still in time and they sing about their adventures and people they’ve met but with masks and props to help! That’s my closest comparison to date. If my head memory serves correctly Francesca features in the band Quiet Marauder and they are equally as fun. Her performance is as key as the music and it works out beautifully blended and highly entertaining.
I said my hellos to The Burning Hell and apologised for not making it last November for my birthday present gig as our car broke down and left us stranded on the M4 for hours. Mathias sympathised, telling us that they had had a similar problem on that tour and that they’d be playing a track all about it. He looked so handsome with his big beautiful beard and his thick Canadian locks pulled back through a hairband… mmmm. Anyway, they’re all gorgeous *ahem*
Holy shit, what a set! First of all in the last two weeks The Burning Hell are the 3rd band to comment on how great it is to play Cardiff, that’s always lovely to hear! As usual, much like Hell they were on fire. His lyrical wit and flawless delivery drove everyone into a state of blissful musical euphoria. In fact, something happened to me at this gig that had never happened before, towards the end of Grown-ups when they were hitting all of the nostalgic chords and all the sound was whipping around like a big warm melancholy blanket I felt a tear run down my face and before I knew it I was fighting off a flood of potential sobs. Damn you Burning Hell for making me feel! It was an incredible experience. The only other track to make me actually cry is ‘Out In The Streets’ by The Shangri-La’s so good effort.
They played tracks from their latest album Public Library and they’re nothing short of what you’d expect. Clem remarked that Derren, sorry Darren Browne (Canadian James May we call him) hadn’t been skimping on guitar practice and really treated us to some top sounds. The track that made it for me that now was The Road. Not only did they mention Wales which we always love but was rich with unpredictable distortion, a rich guitar riff, bonkers electric clarinet (yep, bonkers) beautifully relatable lyrics and a fantastic thudding bass line. Mathias’ trick of going back to earlier lyrics is a great way of reminding you that it’s a true story as well as a top track. Also any track that references The Road by Cormac Mcarthy is going to get an A in my books unless Kanye did it.
I always admire bands who never seem to tire of playing the tracks that they play must play at every gig and Amateur Rappers was an example of that unrelenting passion for their music. The crowd were chanting and rapping and dancing and I was stumbling over the words as I am not a rapper either.
The room bellowed to Fuck The Government, I love you, singing and swaying like drunken sailors.
They finished with The Things People Make Part 2 featuring the wonderful voice of Lefty-handy singy bassiust (Nick Ferrio, check out his music it’s lush) and lo and behold it ran flawlessly but unexpectedly into a wonderfully fun cover of LA LA BAMBA (I don’t even know if that’s what that track is called) oh how we laughed. Darren sung it all in Spanish, did the actions and it was swell.
We were three ecstatic fans amongst a crowd of contented fans and we set off into the night to re-enforce our Mormonage. We left with a 7″ single and an epic T-shirt. Can’t wait to see you again guys, stay Canadian!