A proper old pals’ act here, as ace promoters Loose and their bandmates in The School curate the final day of Buffalo/10 Feet Tall’s month-long January cobweb-shaker and invite back a few past collaborators. Headliners ALLO DARLIN’ ably supported The School at their album launch last March with a set of breathless, crackling indiepop, a pleasantly surprising diversion and a cut above the dreary winsomeness affecting some of their peers. A joint tour followed, cementing inter-band friendships on beer-sticky provincial dancefloors across the UK. They’ve since released their own debut full-length (on Fortuna Pop!), winning some impressive plaudits; and while Elizabeth Morris’ phrasing strays a little too close to Tender Trap bandmate Amelia Fletcher than is strictly healthy, and the constant stream of pop culture references and retro product placement are a little too pat, there’s a winning charm and a lightness of touch that sees it skip unharmed through any genre minefields. Given their usual rollicking live treatment, this should be a proper winner.

SWEET BABOO can do no wrong around these parts, and his apparently boundless work ethic seems set to continue into 2011; no sooner had Stephen Black’s third album (and first for Shape) I’m A Dancer/Songs About Sleepin’ emerged than a new three-piece country-rock line-up of the band took souped-up, thrilllingly noisy versions of its songs on tour. An EP of collaborations with The Voluntary Butler Scheme’s Rob Jones (as Wickes) followed, and while Black continues to play with H. Hawkline, Cate Le Bon and Euros Childs he’s found time to deliver a new EP to Shape for release this year amongst other projects. The quality control stays dizzyingly high, the wit and onstage banter suggest impending shambles, and the Simon & Garfunkel cover gets ever closer to ending properly. Maybe it will tonight.

Opening, neatly, is The School’s lead guitar prodigy IVAN MOULT, himself having recently expanded his solo acoustic ditties with a live band comprised of Evening Chorus and Lucky Delucci members. It’s a smart move, expanding the promise of his The Mine Canary EP into something a little grander.

Loose presents – Hometown Heroes closing party featuring:

ALLO DARLIN’
SWEET BABOO
IVAN MOULT
& THE SCHOOL DJs

Monday 31st January 8pm
10 Feet Tall, Cardiff
Ages: 18+

http://www.10feettallcardiff.com