Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monday's Gig at The Boogaloo

It was a fantastic evening of music and good-natured support! We put names in a hat to decide the running order but Amy and myself kicked off the evening, taking turns to do songs (two each of our own and two Jeffersongs). First guest act was The Home Office, and extraordinary duo who sing songs of workaday angst on this occasion accompanied by a Nintendo Gameboy. Dressed in army and navy hats, they sang the poppiest of songs in unison over nervy, skittery beats, moving mechanically in a parody of Kraftwerk and taking the slumbering rock'n'roll Boogaloo rather by surprise. Peter and Nadya are a striking duo, he tall and severe-looking and Nadya with enviable cheekbones and a look of mischief in her eyes.
Next were Trees and the Slipway, who play music that in their own words 'sounds like we spent the 1990s taking acid in Liverpool'. They also favour unison singing; the three chaps stand in a line, with a large Casio synth in the middle that takes them on an odd journey to an even odder destination. Steve plays a red Hofner guitar that fuzzes through a tiny Roland practice amp; insouciant, the bass-player gazed out of the window at the traffic heading down to Archway as he plays; somehow this is apt, especially as a large roaring vehicle with flashing lights snarled past during a quieter moment in one of the songs.
Great sound guys- unique!
I think I am probably getting everything in the wrong order....
The Magnetic Mind turned up just in time to play; with the lead singer Paul on guitar and the drummer on bass (was that right?) they treated us in the audience to the most lush of harmonies and they played two Jeffersongs and one of their own. Their own song was better than the cover versions, I thought; they have a knack with harmonies that soar and swoop and are deliciously layered like a gorgeous cake from Patisserie Valerie. This music is neo-psychedelia of the first order, and afterwards I told them they should hook up with Lester Square from the Monochrome Set- he would just love their songs and their set-up.
One of the pleasures of the evening was watching the artists watch each other- the line-up was unusual and it was great to see everyone playing up to and beyond their potential.
Guy Harries played next, and treated the audience to an emotional electronic experience, augmenting his powerful vocals with flute-playing and exploring Alan Turing's death with such intensity that later, and audience-member came up and told me that she had been moved to tears.
Our final guest artist was Martin Stephenson, who is mid-tour, and who very kindly agreed to take some time out to play for us. As soon as the little Yiari was plugged in, a charge of energy went round the venue and he played a stormin' mini-set that rounded the guest slots off perfectly.
Amy and myself finished the evening with a song each, and then it was home-time.
I was really happy that it went so well- thank you to the artists who all performed so well, to Nat who asked us to host it, to Nat's dad for doing the door, to Dylan for filming it, to Jamie for doing the sound, to Amy for her sharp and fresh new songs, and to the audience for being warm and supportive!

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