Posted by Lucy Johnson.
Reviewed on 22nd September 2004.
Live at Tut'n'Shive (Wakefield) on Thursday, 9th September 2004
Okay. Let's get you up to speed. Tonight is the last night at the Tut N Shive, of the Wakey acoustic Thursday night shenanigans. It might reappear in another, recognisable reincarnation at another venue soon, then again it might not.
Tonight there's lots and lots of ace artists playing, couple of songs each. Get in.
First up, two-fifths of New Cut Smile, opening proceedings with entertaining banter and a Fifth Goodbye (their noisier band) song. Great singing, coupled with a start-stop memorable guitar part. Winner.
Two more New Cut Smile songs, both sweet, warm acoustic emo loveliness. One case of "pro-lapsed lung" later, and the chirpy twosome leave the stage.
Following them, Vincent Krasauskas out of White Vest, performing tonight as Peter Webb, despite introducing himself as Bruce Springsteen. (there is a good explanation, I think, but I don't know the half of it). Tonight, equipped with Telecaster, he's playing a Dan Andriano song ("Lucky Smoke Rings"), for a major bit of variety a Matt Skiba song (cool guitar part, soft singing), and "Police State," a White Vest song. Unfortunately no Bike Ride Radio songs, as I'm sure we were promised. The covers, as you might expect, are decent songs, accompanied by plaintive vocals and chunky guitar, while the White Vest song is punk all over.
Dom Wise (compared to Ryan Adams, Sting, Damian Rice, David Grey etc, and after seeing him play you can see why, well hear why), is next up, opening with Alanis Morisette's "Hand In My Pocket". Played much slower and with softer guitar than the original, by the end I'm admiring his voice but wishing he'd play a tad faster.
In the second song, one of his own, his voice sounds much more Grey and Rice-alike (but in a good way). However, I'd rather hear this lyrically-involving ditty on the radio than any of Grey's efforts. His last song, another one of his own, is more of the same.
Next is the band I've been looking forward to so much all night, after an amazing taster of their sound in the soundcheck earlier, Leed's own Vatican Jet.
Opening with an interesting, plonky bassline and the drummer (I assume) on tambourine duties, this is music with a kick. Great musicians, music that has a mind of its own. Work it out for yourself.
The second song is bookended with descending and ascending scales and accompanied by djembi and a lead singer who is really enjoying himself. (ssh... I think this may just be my new favourite band) The harmonies can be described as nothing other than fucking gorgeous. Skill.
Tramp Attack. Apparently a very decent band, signed to a major label, but no one's heard of them because the NME doesn't bum them. Vatican Jet next play a cover of Tramp Attack's 1471, and in my opinion it's the best advertisement for the record possible (go to HMV now, if it's anything like the cover I heard last night it'll be cheesy, perfect chirpy rock goodness, complete with Elvis style quivery voice and yodelling, as well as Lucy's stylish cameo, providing the voice of BT.)
The last song, titled "Give A Monkey Magic," (I think) is another slice of thoroughly enjoyable, happy, catchy, laden-with-catchy bits rock goodness. (A little praise for the bass player here is very much in order I feel... as well as managing to echo the lead singer's vocals perfectly in this song, as well as providing gorgeous harmonies on order, he's kept complex songs in line with really cool bass-lines the whole time). Impressed. Sort of the same vibe as Franz Ferdinand, only livelier.
Middi has the unenviable task of following Vatican Jet. Out comes the Busted cover and the harmonica. (Yes, seriously.)
Playing Busted's "You Said No," the only male Busted fan I've ever knowingly met forgets the lyrics, makes some more up, and at the end of the song performs a harmonic bit to perfection, to a huge cheer from the crowd. Rock on.
After an audience vote, Middi then gently plays a sweet Biffy Clyro song. Nice.
Next, Interruptor Jones (random survey of the night, does anyone know who his soft toy is? Apparently it's Sandy Cheeks, from Sponge-Bob Squarepants. Whoosh, over head). Playing magnum opus "The Most Pretentious," a song which comes complete with lyrics like "not enough clothes and too much make-up," but manages to culminate in an affirmation-of-faith in life, and chirpy little ditty "Tell Me How To Feel," there's something vulnerable in his voice compared to the assured singers who have played earlier.
Submitting to his audience's wishes, Antony finishes with the lovely Brand New song, "Soco Amaretto Lime" that I mentioned in last week's review. I'm happy.
Next, something a little different. Dee Dyson gets up, very bravely, to sing one of her own songs a cappella. Declining to use the microphone, she fills the room with her powerful voice. Think a solo song from a musical, except the song means something, and the singer has her own style. One of those who know exactly when to breathe and pause and stop for the best effect. Diva!
At this point, I had to get the last bus, but I managed to catch the two acts still remaining earlier on in sound-checks. Stephen Lomas of My Perfect Mistake doing his acoustic thing (sounding good) and Ali Whitton, with Alison on (fantastic) backing vocals. If this is the last we'll be hearing of this acoustic night, at least it went out on a high.
acoustic pop punk rock