Pom Poko at Jacaranda Records Phase One (14 October ’19)

This is a pretty rapid-fire (for me) review of Pom Poko at Jacaranda Records Phase One, in order to get it published before my two-week family holiday.

Ticket

The night got off to a poor start when I arrived at Waterloo train station to discover that all trains were suspended due to what turned out to be a very sad fatality.

I made the right decision not to wait for a train, as none ended up running all night, instead heading into town via Delta Taxis.

I had just enough time for a pint of Ossett’s White Rat at the under-new-management Dispensary before heading over to the venue.

I was early enough to head straight down the front, with the place slowly filling up, largely with friends and family of the first band, it appeared.

Support was from Orchards, whom I’d never heard of prior to their involvement being announced.

Orchards

They’re partly from Brighton, but two of them were local lads, childhood friends guitarist Sam Rushton and Dan Fane on bass.

They apparently met the other two in their first week of university at Brighton, Will Lee-Lewis on drums, and singer Lucy Evers.

And it must be said, what a right, rum-looking bunch they were too. Evers reminded me of a cross between Ian Brown and Bobby Gillespie, while Rushton was showing off a pair of pineapple tattoos.

Lucy Evers off the stage

They were an incredibly enthusiastic foursome, especially the lead singer who stepped off the stage into the audience on more than one occasion, singing from right near the back of the crowd during Age Of You.

Intriguingly, all four of them were sporting white ankle socks. Maybe they’re big fans of the first Adam And The Ants’ first album?

The sound was a mix of angular indie, shoegaze, britpop and even elements of grunge, with loads of “woh”s.

They closed (I think) with Luv You 2, the opening track from 2018’s Losers/Lovers ep. Although as it has nine tracks and lasts for more than half an hour, I’m not quite sure why it’s defined as an ep.

Sadly, nothing of theirs seems to be available on CD – just digital or occasionally on vinyl – so I shan’t be adding them to my collection just now.

After a selection of largely 70’s rock tunes from the DJ (from promoters Harvest Sun?), it was time for the main event.

Pom Poko

Pom Poko are a Norwegian combo, whose debut album Birthday was released in February, with their set kicking off with its opening three cuts.

This included a very early highlight in the form of the fabulous My Blood, with singer Ragnhild Fangel bouncing around the stage.

Ragnhild

Like their support act, there were some fairly unusual outfits on show, none more so than guitarist Martin Miguel Tonne’s bright blue boiler suit.

It’s hard to describe the band’s sound, which is really quirky indie pop, but far less straight-ahead than the likes of Magnapop and Salad which both floated into my head as comparisons.

Follow The Light showed off their oddball nature as it’s a hard rocking number, with a lot of cowbell from Ragnhild.

A fair few songs were segued together, with there being very little messing about, and not all that much chat.

A few new numbers were scattered through the set, including Leg Day, which I’d least managed to hear online once beforehand.

Jonas without shoes

Day Tripper (not that one) was introduced as their “Liverpool song” and was followed by another new song in Praise.

Bassist Jonas Krøvel took his shoes off for Honey, but they went back on again pretty swiftly. As I’ve not yet mentioned him, I should at least state that Ola Djupvik on drums was wearing a natty sparkly silver top.

The set ended with a killer threesome from the album, firstly the brilliant title track. Next was the utterly joyous Crazy Energy Night.

The very final, intense number was If U Want Me 2 Stay, which weirdly made me think of a mix of C81 indie and English toytown psych.

The night ended at a very civilised hour, meaning I was back home by about 10.45pm, having once again had to use a Delta to get me there.

Pom Poko setlist

This really was an excellent evening, with Pom Poko very likely to feature prominently in my gigs of the year when I come to look back.

I discovered en route that I’d not spotted a mate of mine from the football who’d also been at the gig, who had clocked me at some point.

As we have now realised we will both be at the Fontaines D.C. show next month, perhaps he will feature in this blog in the near future.

 

Tonight’s t-shirt

I decided to wear one of my brown Pixies t-shirts, for no particularly special reason. There were a few other band tees in evidence, including Camens, Tenacious D and Heavy Trash.

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Playlist

Here is much of the music from the show on Spotify:

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