The Understudies

GIG: The Understudies
DATE: Thursday July 30th 2009
VENUE: Wilmington Arms, Roseberry Ave, Clerkenwell, London
COST: £6
RATING: Solid Chip Pan Glam

The Understudies, ( whose Myspace page lists their roots as being Glasgow/London/Edinburgh, (but are now based in London), are a band we saw at this years’ International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool and we jumped at the chance to see them play live again. It was a push to get to Clerkenwell in time (they were first on the bill) but we made it just as the band were about to take to the stage.

Straight away, they launched into “Chip Pan Glam”, which is a belter of a song to start a set with, with reverbs of T-Rex style guitar mixed with the female vocals of Bree giving it a bit of a Camera Obscura sound. They also sang about “Flicknives”, “Wanting Vs Getting”, which has a very nice "Phoenix Nights"glockenspiel throughout, and the very catchy “A Girl I Used to Knock About With”.

The sound engineer at the venue was very strict on time, and all too quickly he signalled the last song, which was “Grousebeat”, a song which has a very Spectorish ‘Be My Baby’ type drum beat for the intro, and great vocals from Brian.

So, a short, but oh so sweet set from a band which we hope to see more of.

We stayed around to see the other bands that were on the bill. The next band up was a 3 piece called the Hillfields. They were not quite our cup of tea, with the vocals coming only from the lead man (no backing vocals), and their songs starting to sound just like the last, as they worked through their set. Still, pleasant enough and we did stay to listen.

The 3rd act on the bill was a punk rock group, The Dellas who took a bit of time to set up, but in the end did not sound too bad and they gave out free badges!. The audience was quite thin by this time but still seemed to appreciate this young 5 piece band.

The main act of the night came on stage at about 10.15pm. Makeokay were really were not our scene at all, so we took our cue and left.

The venue was OK – a decent sized music room with a bar manned at all times. The bar was not cheap (overt a fiver for a pint and a soft drink) oh, and don’t leave your glass with a couple of swigs of beer left in it on the bar, otherwise it gets swept up and put in the dishwasher before you realise it’s gone!. The loos were great – an odd shape, but clean and smelt fine.

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