Live at The Library on Friday, 3rd February 2012
First on at tonight's 360 Club is Grant K. Fennell, or as the wonderfully typo-ed posters would have us believe, Granny K. Fennell. Frontman-gone-solo of the eccentric Elijah at Sea, I'm more used to seeing Grant surrounded by a variety of weirdly dressed artsy/folksy types but tonight he's trying his luck with just an acoustic. Passion aplenty and a haunting wail to his tone, Grant's real strength is in his quirky lyricism but without the drive that comes from a band, I can't help but feel like the performance lacks some of that real attention grabbing wallop.
Broken Sunsets are a band I've had the pleasure of seeing progress and now they're back at 360 Club under the new moniker of Rex Manning Day. New name, but apart from that it doesn't feel like a lot's changed. Same big indie sound and a strong baritone vocal but there's a confidence lack that lasts right until the very last tune when finally the heads lift and a hint of rocking out can be seen. The lead guitar lines, too, are choppy and the drumming feels a bit rigid tonight. All the elements of a solid band are in there, RMD just need to get their heads out of the ground and smash it.
Speaking of smashing it, The Arrogance Of King Canute step up for some Madness-gone-prog fun, and I'm not just saying that because they've got a saxophone. Liberal use of slap is applied by the bassist, in one song using the ne'er touched 'raindrop' effect giving the sound all the subtlety of a belly dancer's hen night and in no other context could it have worked so beautifully. This is truly a band who know what they're doing with excellent dynamic builds, careful layering and balls-out vocal delivery. Definitely one to watch in the coming months.
Last up are Hull's The Hubbards who seem to take The Arrogance...'s energy and take it up a notch with their own brand of energetic indie noise. Tight as you like and with some occasionally At The Drive-In-esque vocal delivery, these boys really pack a punch. Throw in their cover of an Underworld's 'Born Slippy' and the sound is massive. Lead single 'Back to the Circus' has all the hallmarks of a huge tune and based on tonight's performance the band deserve every bit of the recent Radio 1 attention they've been getting.
Tom + Sam + Adam + Pete = (Rex Manning Day > the sum of its parts)