Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Music reviews

I recently stumbled upon some reviews I wrote a while ago about a few bands I saw play the Louie. At the time of writing I duly sent these off to Venue music ed. Julian Owen who seemed pretty keen...that is until he read my damning comments about The Transpersonals. Ha ha!!
Little did I know these guys are homies (not to be confused with homos), until I read later issues of Venue in which Julian extolled their virtues and talent - virtually non-existent the night I saw them. After describing the Transpersonals' bass player as a potential child molester, it was perhaps wishful thinking that I could win Julian over with my dazzling prose work, and so my career in music journalism was tragically over before it had even started.

The Great Admirers/The Rivals/The Transpersonals

(TUE 22 AUG)

An obsession with the likes of Julian Cope, Adam Ant, and Morrissey is the diving force behind the sweet and slightly self deprecating, Great Admirers. Although their brand of sub-Belle and Sebastian style indie pop is a little insipid and sometimes irritatingly saccharine, the band’s limitless energy and enthusiasm tends to detract from this. TGA are at their best with catchy tunes like ‘Hemmingway’ and ‘Keynsham’ which emphasise singer/songwriter Pat Reid’s brilliantly perceptive lyrical wit and his genuine love of 80s New Wave.

The Rivals drew the biggest crowd of the night, primarily comprising leather jacketed and greasy haired trendies. Clear, hauntingly melodic vocals layered over funk guitar parts and creeping bass lines, are interspersed with spine tingling refrains on the flute and clashing synth chords to a very pretty effect.

Ex. Strangelove vocalist, Patrick Duff, formed ‘psychedelic indie/alt’ band The Transpersonals following a voyage of self-discovery which apparently took him to South Africa where he experimented with hallucinogenic drugs and conversed with various mystics. This tired, Kula Shaker-esque, neo-spiritual aesthete is combined with a musical homage to the tinny innocence of 1960s bubblegum pop, which is well executed enough to almost convince me I’m listening to a Kinks covers band. Their musical style is polished, if intentionally derivative; however, the band’s image jars painfully with pretensions towards an emulation of the purity and naivety of the swinging 60s. Duff looks a freakish mess as he jumps around the stage with guitar slung high across his chest, sporting a mop top and tightly knotted shirt, and the creepy, roving eyed bassist is straight out of Capturing the Friedmans. Although their current sound (and look) may be misguided, the band are clearly competent musicians and the heavier, rock-out tracks at the end of the set reveal a spark of originality. Perhaps this is the new sound Duff has been searching for?

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