Live at Fibbers (York) on Thursday, 12th August 2004
I'm starting to feel like a York correspondent for LMS as I stroll down to Fibbers to catch one of Leeds' most talked about bands of the moment. Since the venue became a Barfly it's had its ear to the ground and picked up some of the best new touring acts. Tonight Fibbers was treated again.
The first support act was a Folk/punk 3 piece called Ryan Shirlow and the Bloody Marys. The Irish lead singer talks to the crowd like a kids TV presenter in between mixing elements of The Pogues and the Smiths, with a voice that sounds like a blend of Tim Booth and a drunk Damien Rice... without the tune-keeping. One could suggest this is arty rock, but art inspires and this didn't... a fact confirmed by a cover of Stand by me (Ben E. King not Oasis... God, imagine that). The influences form a great skeleton for a sound but the substance doesn't quite hold it together for me.
Sixty 6 have managed to sneak onto another of my LMS reviews, a fact that doesn't surprise me as since some major label interest the venue has championed the band, and lavished them with support slots practically every week. The practice seems to have paid off. There is a marked improvement in Sixty 6's delivery, and a clued up sound man dampens the vocal sound to give the three piece much needed edge and bring the strong vocals into their own. This band knocks out great guitar pop songs, and what I would like to see them do is take these strong tunes and force them to turn corners and hold peoples attention for longer. The fact is most people won't get on a bandwagon that drives down the middle of the road... that's just dangerous. However, saying this Sixty 6 are a three piece worth counting on for the future.
Anyone who has been on a night out in York and sampled the "indie nights" on offer would agree with me that The Kaiser Chiefs have just the sound that York needs to hear. It's a blend of all the best 90's guitar efforts twisted round to in a blender and poured over touches of David Bowie's guitars, Madness, the Small Faces and the Kinks. The great thing about watching this band was the way they portrayed so much fun so unintentionally. The lead singer approaches the mic at the last minute before every line, as if he has forgotten to sing because he is having such a whale of a time, and the infectious tunes pass this excitement on to the crowd. I find it hard to look around and see someone who isn't looking really impressed. It is so nourishing to see music played that engages you and invites you to share an idea rather than step on the treadmill of processed pop that runs from most of our nation's radio stations into a pit of mind blowing monotony and ex boy band members. Bloody great.