GIG: Larry & the Streamers
DATE: Saturday 7th November 2009
VENUE: The Sutton Arms, Southchurch Road, Southend on Sea, Essex
RATING: Like the drums..SPARKLING.
Larry & The Streamers, a 3 piece (drums, guitar and bass) took to the stage not long after 9.30pm, and performed a blazing first set. Interspersed with whimsical and informative comments from Mark, the bass player, filling in background to the songs and song writers (Graham Gouldman featured a lot). Just some of the highlights of the first set were, “For Your Love”, “I Like It”, “Pictures of Lily” and “Waterloo Sunset” which, from the second the intro started, you knew it was going to sound great.
Their set list is not your standard covers fare. Although the bulk of the songs played were from the best British bands, like The Who, The Kinks, Beatles etc…there was also a healthy helping of lesser heard live covers like The Hollies and The Move. They also threw in some US hits, such as the Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown”, and Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” to name just two! This variety really gives the band an edge over other covers bands.
The Beeb’s 12 string Strat, “Twiggy” had her debut tonight, when Eddie, the guitarist tried it out on a few songs, starting with the jingly jangly “Mr Tambourine Man”, leading into “California Dreamin’” (including a stunning lead break) and then a reflection of the Kinks’ “Days”.
By the end of the first set, the floor in front of the stage were filled with some of the crowd jiving and dancing, some even dressing the part with quiffs and brothel creepers as though they were back in the late 50’s / early 60’s. It was obvious some of the audience were regulars who knew what to expect, and this helped create a great atmosphere in the venue.
The 2nd half started as the band meant to go on, straight into “Doo Wah Diddy” which had everyone up jiving again. And it stayed that way for the whole of the second half. Larry & The Streamers’ repertoire is vast and some of the highlights from the 2nd set were “Flowers in the Rain”, “Pretty Woman”, “Baby Come Back” which went seamlessly into “Glad All Over” and then into “Hold Tight” all of which sounded superb.
Even “Daydream Believer” had Minty singing along, and it was a shame when time was called just after mid-night, and after more than 2 hours playing, they ending with “Sunny Afternoon”.
These guys are consummate professionals, not only did they wear matching suits, but what really made them stand out from many other bands was that they didn’t need to hold a discussion about what to play next – and if they had a set list, it wasn’t on show anywhere. There were no mistakes, no false starts. Just pure entertainment and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
This was such a well prepared and thought out set, it really came across as a perfectly paced night of music.
Check out their MySpace page which lists their forthcoming gigs – these guys are in demand and are BUSY! After hearing them live, it’s easy to understand why.
And the customary round up about the venue and loos – the pub lends itself to live music, with a decent stage area and wooden floor with plenty of room around the stage. The staff were very friendly, and remembered our round! The loos….. Clean, the air hand dryers worked and there was still loo roll after 11 o’clock!