The first gig that The Duchess & I have been to since we saw Alt+J in November. The last band I had seen were The Residents so I needed to cleanse my ‘live experience’ palette after it was mind fucked by Randy, Chuck & Bob at The Hackney Empire!
As usual on a Cardiff gig excursion we had to pick up Clem Fandango on the way. He and I had seen The Lovely Eggs before in Ten Feet Tall about five years ago and they were epic then so we were excited. The Duchess was more relieved to be out on a week night for a change but the prospect of live music appealed to us all.
And as usual I parked miles away so we had to jaunt through the cold streets of Cardiff weekday drinking culture.
First to play were My Name Is Ian a band I’ve now seen three times and have enjoyed it each time. They’re a Cardiff based trio that combine the jingly jangly indie up-beat music with the anti-folk sour wit of despair that reminds me of John Mouse or a band from back in the day Mr Duke & The Hoodlum Circus (vanished without a trace). I was glad that they played because traditionally I had seen them supporting The Burning Hell but My Name is Ian were supporting them in Bristol and I had opted for the Cardiff gig as usual. It was as if it was all meant to be! The singer (apparently not called Ian) was decidedly manic that night and may have been having a nervous breakdown on stage, either way it was highly entertaining.
Next to play was a band wittily named Peaness an all girl trio from Chester. Clem had seen them before and said that we were in for a treat, he said that he had spoken to one of them before but was to drunk to remember which one and hoped that they didn’t remember. I don’t think they did and by golly they were ace. This band were totally on point and musically tight to the level that Dweezil Zappa and his band were a couple of years ago in Cardiff. Their harmonising was on the same level as The Unthanks and their music took qwerky little musical turns that breached modern day indie convention. Overall I was very impressed, I liked how even their most offensive song George had an innocent quality to it like when you’re really angry at someone and you can only say “I’m blinking livid” in a non livid voice. Top notch!
Then came the ultimate Northern Duo since batter was introduced to Mars Bars, all the way from the spiritual home of the Polo that is Morecambe to what they announced was their spiritual home of Cardiff. Fair play guys you’re the best kind of bonkers, they smashed it straight into O’ Death. The dainty pair smashing shit out of their well worn instruments. I liked the fact that all of their equipment was the same stuff that I had seen them with all those years ago, with one mystical addition. The mystery box that made insane NEE-NAW sounds and zoops and kerplunks during their set, adding a whole new unpredictable layer to their simple, upbeat and ball-grabbing melon based ballads.
The Duchess and I took great comfort in their tale about their toddler and felt that was truly a rock and roll way of relating to an audience. The two tracks that made the night for me were Magic Onion and Don’t Look at Me. They’re delightfully nonsensical and reference all of my favourite things like onions, sausage rolls, washing lines and picnics.
All in all another top night and this time our car wasn’t locked behind a massive gate!