The year’s first classic gig happened last weekend in the breathtaking surroundings (it sure beat the likes of the Betsy Trotwood and the Garage) of St Giles-in-the-Fields church in the centre of London.
Shady Bard, whose Penguins single late last year was an inviting rather than inspiring debut, showed they had a lot more to offer. Displaying the same resonant soulfulness of latter-stage Tindersticks, the spacious tear-in-a-beer alt-country of Sparklehorse and the out-there woozy melodies of Gorky’s, Shady Bard have shaped up to be one of 2007’s contenders.
An album on Static Caravan at the end of April showcasing the Shady Bard orchestra of violin, cello, French horn and piano could see them – if they translate their fuller, muscular sound to the studio – deliver a classic debut album. It often pays to get to gigs early to see the band at the bottom of the bill (although they were the band I most wanted to see, they were much better than I expected).
The Clientele’s new songs sounded good, apart from two of them, which were, bizarrely, both Daydream Believer by The Monkees. It makes a change, I suppose, from one of Lou Reed's VU ballads.
Sodastream were good as ever and they came equipped with some tall tales from recent travels. My favourite was the one about the man who claimed to have killed a dog with a single punch. I’ll probably go to see them next Saturday as Airport Girl and Monkey Swallows The Universe are also playing.