Live at The Library on Wednesday, 3rd February 2010
First act tonight is Rich Thomas, who has eschewed the brooding rock of his usual outfit Dice City Lights, for a low key solo affair. Accompanied only by the grubby sounds of a telecaster belted through a tiny amp, Rich is restrained to his stool as a broken leg in a cast negates any guitar hero antics. His set is akin to the likes of songwriters such as David Ford and perhaps the matter of fact rhetoric of Frank Turner. Cyclic folk pop numbers sound great hammered out on his gritty guitar sound, the songs taking shape through a unique stream of consciousness performance. Like a miniature sermon into Rich's warped sense of humour; the set culminates in a caution of the trials and tribulations of...eh, sexually transmitted diseases.
Aviaries probably receive the most attention in the Library. Having not long changed their name from Bright Sons, they seem to be recharged in their return. Big chunky synth pop, with more than nod towards those early 90s Manchester bands in stroppy, untamed vocals; indicating the name change is mainly aesthetic as they continue in much the same vein as their last incarnation. Going for a more belligerently unrefined sound, Aviaries sound increasingly evolves more towards the pistols than the flotsam, landfill of human-league-by-numbers type acts currently spawning and fading like may flies.
The top slot is the reserve of The Tempus from Bradford. A three piece, unabashed rock band in the strictest sense of the term. They belt out hefty, yet sophisticated, guitar licks in the tradition of Zeppelin with some of the punk curiosity that made the Manics into an interesting rock band. Honed both in terms of writing capabilities and in their live act, The Tempus easily surpass the level of many unsigned rock outfits. There's an acute attention to detail with this band, whether it be in drum fills or little lead twiddles, it's a tight ship they run. You've got to appreciate their sidestepping of chart vogue. Muscular and emotive, they're bare bones, engine room rock.