Thursday, 20 September 2007

Noah and the Whale, 17/09

Noah and the whale @ Enterprise, Chalk Farm,

Thee most packed out gigs I have been too this year. No doubt about that. On arrival I was thinking that I would probably not get in this free, first come first serve basis gig, but it then struck me as I was beneath a man in braces sweating from ever area whilst my foot spiked on a broken wine glass (admittedly it was mine) that they weren’t actually going to say “No”, hand up like a lolly pop women to the next shaggy haired indie kid. The people just kept flowing in… how I would have loved the idea if I was late, but I wasn’t, I just wasn’t really breathing and the stench of BO, booze, burps and other horrible smells (damn the smoking ban!) I wasn’t in the best mood. So it’s a good thing that Noah and the Whale actually played a blinder of a set.

Starting with two slow songs, including Beating, it was hard not to be fazed by the nasty stench of the room, but all was forgiven when Mary, Jocasta and Rocks and Daggers kicked in and ending with 5 Years Time, which included the band wearing matching blue jackets and Laura Marling (on backing vocals) doing a very Posh Spice eqsue dance (as seen in the 5 Years Time video. You tube?) and Charlie Fink becoming the new Barry White; “If you chant Noah-Whale, Noah-Whale” to which crowd proceed in doing, “…then there will be Love Love Love, wherever you go”... Smooth bastard! Finally encoring with (god forbid in those conditions) 2 Bodies, 1 Heart and a Smiths cover of Girl Afraid. Ironically, I was indeed a girl afraid, afraid of the man in braces bobbing up and down back and forth to the slow folky leads which are Noah and the Whale. I didn’t think anyone could move in such ways as he did but it shows that this so called ‘anti-folk’ is a bit punky and a bit more edgy that the usual lovesick, suicide ballads that can usually be projected.

Let’s just hope that bands don’t start a new trend with having ‘and the’ in band names, y’know, like The Strokes did, with The Libertines and The Razorlight…Joe Lean and the Jingle Jangle Jane, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Vincent Vincent and the Villians, Captain Kick and the Cowboy Ramblers, Tom Hatred and the Angryband, Florence and the Machine…..Oh.

The Departure and Clocks @ Leicester Charlotte

The Departure, Clocks @ Leicester Charlotte 13/09/07

Dirty words and dirty drunken habits, Ladies and Gentlemen, the dirty Departure….

With A4 print outs arranged across the ceiling boards of ye old Princess Charlotte, which include the likes of the Stone Roses, Radiohead to the Kooks and Razorlight, ironically the band playing in the background were without doubt never be stuck on those walls. No, this wasn’t Clocks or the Departure but some very cringe worthy act whose name will not be printed and never will be (we can only hope).

So the lowdown on Clocks; hailing from the not so epic, Epson, but with catchy Beatles riff and ‘wanna wanna’s’, mixed with some northern tom foolery and dancy little numbers, this band impersonate bands such as the La’s and at times, Oasis and other much loved noise from the mid 90s’ era. If only they could jump around on stage or wear something, which didn’t say ‘t-shirt and jenas’, perhaps, a gimp suit? Then maybe, just maybe, they could take the indie circuit by storm. Great songs but sack the stylist. Oh what’s that you say? You don’t have one? Still should we really argue, at least this band managed to stay upright on stage and complete the duration of their set with the deficiency of any dirty words (like ‘baps’, or ‘scrot’). And guess who that was?

Yes, of course, I am talking about the departure. Those dirty boys. Absent for 7, I mean, 2 years now (ho ho) and back with some cracking new songs recently updated on their myspace. Thus it would be silly not to be excited about this bands return. More ambience, more anthemic, and more adult, clean in every sense of the word.

Or so we thought?

Kicking off with a newie Love Forever the audience gather around to which front man, David Jones, entices us closer by stating ‘let’s pretend it’s yoga’ something which only David understands. Nevertheless the crowd push forward enjoying a rather great kick off until the tuning of the next song lingers upon us with Sam, the guitarist, taking at least 5 minutes to tune. One can’t help but think that he has had a few too many vodkas which adaptly leads us to the next song of ‘Seven Years’ (ironically written as ‘Seven Beers’ on the set list). After another interval of tuning, a more well known ‘Arms Around Me’, the guitarist falls into the nearby pillar, maybe someone needed their arms around him, which graciously leads on to the next track ‘falling’ (oh the puns!) where the guitarist proceeds to ‘fall’ over and one point smack his guitar on the light above. Heaven knows! ‘Lump in my Scrot’ (again, a set list spelling mistake?) amazingly engages the crowd into the song rather than the antics on stage, followed by a few more intervals (one so long that I went to the toilet and back) and noticeably fresh and catchy new songs, and ending with ‘All Mapped Out (All Baps Out) to which Sam actually stumbles off the stage leaving David in control. Sadly no yoga positions though a random ‘3-1’ shout out. Um. Hopefully the guys don’t start as they mean to go on.