I just had time for a pint of Landlord in the Roscoe Head before strolling up the hill, where I then had to sit at the bar waiting for the doors to open. So that meant a pint of Punk IPA, which I found a bit too cold, due to having had a through clean at the dentist earlier in the day.
I paid my £11 on the door and took advantage of the vacant booth by the bar, where I was soon joined by Kicker O’Elves of Trust The Wizards fame and fortune. He was soon followed by Texas Paul (who I had previously met at a Shonen Knife gig at the Arts Club – see review here) and a couple of others whose names now escape me – sorry gents.
We agreed that the audience was all under the age of about 25, apart from all of the people that Kicker knew, while much of the chat was around The Fall, always a pleasure to discuss.
First up tonight was Ali Horn, who kicked off with my favourite song of his, Bloom , which I described in my review of the previous time I had seen him as “an epic, crawling, psych-tinged number” (see review here), which had some really great bass playing this time.
I didn’t enjoy the music as much as when I’d seen them at Buyers Club, but to be fair I wasn’t paying as close attention, as I was still at the booth with noisy conversations going on around me.
However, the later numbers had clear indie pop hit overtones to them (though I also got glimpses of The Shadows!), so I fully expect Ali Horn to go on to bigger things. Hopefully not at the expense of Strange Collective.
I had a pint of Liverpool Craft’s Love Lane – The Magnet could put bigger venues to shame with its decent beer selection. That is, there is a drinkable pint on offer!
Opening number about a girl called Sophie reminded me a little of Daniel Johnston, and I was generally intrigued during his performance as to how these songs would sound with a backing band. Something I must rectify soon.
There was certainly a large element of twee to the music (which was followed up by Frankie Cosmos), with some top notch falsetto work, and a brief story about bursting into tears on entering The Cavern Club earlier that day.
Ellis asked us to imagine the guitar solo in a song I would really love to locate as it cracked me up with a couplet that rhymed Orion with crying, though sadly I can’t recall the rest of the line. So any Trust Fund-ophiles reading this, let me know what song that was!
He performed a song about a shopping centre in Derby, before one final brief number brought his entertaining set to a close. One to explore further for sure.
I hadn’t realised that Frankie Cosmos was just a stage or band name, with the singer/guitarist being Greta Kline, who it transpired is the daughter of Hollywood couple Kevin Kline (who I remember most in The Big Chill and A Fish Called Wanda) and Phoebe Cates, whom I have fond memories of in Fast Times At Ridgemont High and Gremlins.
After an a capella opener, latest album Next Thing was raided for several songs. This is the only record of hers/theirs I own, so it was nice to hear some of these tracks in person.
The (apparently) new songs they performed were if anything better, so hopefully there will be a new record soon. They mixed it up a bit more, with one being quite thrashy, in a good way.
The rest of the band was David Maine on bass, drummer Luke Pyenson and Lauren Martin on keys, with the latter being somewhat bemused by the audience asking “which one?” when she said she’d been to see the cathedral that day.
They returned to Next Thing for a couple more songs before their final number, My I Love You from 2013’s Told You So digital-only album.
All in all this was a good night of slightly off-kilter indie pop.
I debuted a lovely dark green Flying Nun Records tee at this gig, with the only band t-shirts I spotted being The New Pornographers and Teenage Fanclub, so completing a trilogy of classic indie pop garments!
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Here is some of the music from the night on Spotify: