Live at Faversham on Saturday, 1st October 2005
Welcome to the Faversham. The pub is stuffed with students, NUS cards in one hand, trying to blag a cheap, fizzy, sweet, artificial, alcoholic drink, yet to realise the drinking maxim - no pain, no gain - nice tasting drinks are just not cricket. Barman, mines a quadruple jagermeister. Anyway, to the music - that is what we're here for isn't it? Tonight, for our listening pleasure, the bill was three bands of happy twee-ness. with keyboards: Fonda 500; The Research and The Chalets.
The evening was kicked off by Fonda 500. The Hull five piece took to the stage with lead singer/keyboard chap Simon sporting a pair of vaguely ridiculous, cartoon Mickey Mouse ears apparently this is his bent. He introduced himself and the band as 'The Research' and I pity the poor freshers as some of them actually believed him. The difference between the 'Search and this band of pop, Beach Boys-esque, psychedelic, country chancers could not be much greater. Their set is laced with contrived 'craziness', witness the ears, the proclaimed lack of set list and song titles like 'Super Chimpanzee' and 'The Colours of the 8th Dimension' (how we all laughed!), however, I was left with a band which seemed to lack anything that really grabbed me and made me pay attention.
The real The Research took to the stage to a greater audience, terms of number and enthusiasm. For the uninitiated The Research have long been one of the darlings of the Leeds music scene. Not just because of their, brilliant, lo-fi, pop, and Casio keyboard sounds, but also because they are... well... just really nice. The band's set is laced with lyrical gems, such as "It's not that I don't I love you, But I'm scared of fucking up". This is over a simple sound - one bass guitar, one cheap 1980's Casio and a simple drum kit. "Yes" they are not, more a British Grandaddy. They wound their way through a set of distinctively, quirky, pop, keyboard on his knees, with Russell looking like a country-stylee David Beckham with his customary badges on his cap. In the end he was reduced to hammering the bloody keyboard into the ground. The poor instrument has died, and the band has split, according to Drummer Sarah. Don't worry, she was only joking.
The Chalets were excellent also. The Irish 5 piece are quite possibly the best thing to happen to the Irish music scene since the horror that was The Cranberries was purged from our airways. The name is derived from when the band formed at All Tomorrows Parties. The band specialise in gloriously memorable pop melodies, augmented by deceptively dark lyrics, such as "I know I love you, but you're fucking crazy", hinting at something a little darker and of more substance. Their performance was rather reminiscent of a Bucks Fizz for the 21st century filled to the brim with up-beat, charming pop. Singers Pony and Peepee were magnificent, and synchronized in dancing (though not having their skirts ripped off by their guitarist and bassist). In short the perfect finish for an evening. By this time, the student population is well onto its 5th Bottle of Blue WKD and having discovered hitherto undiscovered levels of drunkenness, need little excuse to bounce around enthusiastically - and good on them!
And that was that. Suitably inebriated the new student population of Leeds, in no particular order, discovered why Leeds is so cool, and why new music rocks!!!