Strange News From Another Star take to the stage with Jimmy sporting a military denim look. On closer inspection it would appear that he’s taped the insignias on himself. They fall off toward the end of the gig. Mark Foley’s bass podium is making a mockery of Barfly’s heightened ceiling and is coping by playing the bass in sweeping movements. Does this sound prog?
Oddly, their shouty garage rock seems to be drawing ageing rock fans closer to the stage. Like continental drift. But Slower. Jimmy’s between song banter is lost on most of the crowd, as is the fact that he can’t see his own guitar through most of the set. About half the audience actually get it though, which should be a triumph for a garage punk rock band, half the age of the crowd, who warm up for the gig by doing press ups stage left. Although it could be seen as a failure to nail the other half seeing as they’re dressed head to toe in denim and have a man playing bass with a handlebar moustache and a headband. You decide.
Last time I saw Right Hand Left Hand I got really drunk, misread their set list, misheard something said by a mate and littered my review with inaccuracies and outright lies which was later corrected by a band member with the aid of Wikipedia links. I’ve learnt my lesson and won’t be making this mistake again. Tonight I’m sticking to facts so I made sure that Bob (pictured) and Ernie gave me their set list after the gig. They played:
The Capgras’ Delusion
The Teignmouth Electron
They were very good and the crowd liked them. Prog fans love guitars, great drumming and effects pedals. Who knew? One of the crowd was overheard saying ‘these guys are interesting’, what more do you want? Bob was even mildly mobbed after their set.
I had a cassette called Pure Soft Metal in about 1987. I now know why. It was to prepare me for this moment. Nektar. Anglo-German prog legends. Except none of them are wearing a cape. This is very disappointing. I get excited when a purple velvet piece of material appears, alas it’s only a curtain for the bank of keyboards. Gadzooks(1), a bank of keyboards. The singer plays a guitar bigger than his regrets(2) and has glued his tinted glasses halfway down his nose(3). He rocks. He also looks like Italian architecture guru Francesco Da Mosto. Basically it sounds a bit like Kula Shaker(4) but the oldies love it. Apart from a woman sat at the back who may’ve married into prog(5). As it turns out, the keyboard solos save this band, I keep trying to leave but seem to get sucked in. One is happenstance(6), twice is coincidence, thrice is the power of prog. I do finally pull myself away 35 minutes into their 90 minute long set. They may still be playing as I type this. I’ll leave a well known local celebrity to have the last word:
“None of this makes any sense” – Andrew Falkous
1. 1-0 Jarrett. 2. Thanks Falc. 3. Thanks Al. 4. Thanks Falc. 5. Thanks Ben. 6. 2-0 Jarrett.