As predicted, Jeff Greene gave away his one copy of the new Butterflies album (to get it mastered or something technical; I mean, we don't mind demos round here, and we did predict he'd fall through on his promises again). Drummer Neil O'Brien has stepped up and promised us a copy of the album next week, when we visit his New Jersey homestead...and on the basis of their performance on Thursday, we are anticipating a work of godlike genius, given that their gig was the most intense guitar-pop-driven spectacle since the 1980s. We're thinking here of when Terry Bickers last had that hold over an audience, when he could, as John Peel remarked in his Observer column, draw you in (Bickers has never been able to do that since 1988 and by Jesus we've been and watched him a few times since just to see if he could still summon that power; he can't); or of the pure beat pop dynamism of East Village, hypnotic thrums all, spellbinding alchemy that even now attendees talk about wide-eyed and in hushed tones. The Butterflies have upped their quotient to three guitars, each of them with the same power that Bickers once had. This was truly an astonishing show.
Our favourite comment of the Fortuna Pop festivities came from John Jervis, who explained why the MJ "My mum calls me Mark" Hibbett 'competition' attracted so few - none, let's be honest - entrants. Not because there wasn't really a prize on offer. No, it was because "his mum never calls him". Thanks, John, and sorry, "MJ", for opening wounds like that. We expect you've written a song about it, and we look forward to hearing it.