DATE: Monday 30th May 2011
VENUE: The Bull & Gate, 389 Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2JT
OUR VERDICT: Another grooving mix
Their first song, "Silhouette" was a great opener and another highlight for Minty was their "sad" song, "Drowning". Evette, the girl singer showed herself to be a bit of a raconteur too.
The next act, Spygenius (www.myspace.com/thespygenius) delayed the start of their set in order for a few more people to drfit in. Bank Holiday Monday is not the liveliest time in London and as the Bull and Gate don't get a passing crowd of tourists every now and then (as the Cavern in Liverpool does), the audience numbers were sparse. It was a shame that many of the band's friends who had promised to come along had not infact turned up, and when they finally started their set they dedicated each song to these "absent friends", by naming them individually!
|Spygenius salute Absent Friends|
We took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat and missed the next two bands, returning to see Loser Token (www.myspace.com/losertoken). Although we had seen this band ay the Liverpool IPO, our memories were a bit fuzzy and it was not until they started their last song - a Stevie Wonder medley that we remembered them. To be honest, their set was not great - one singer and a quite punk-type sound, but the Stevie Wonder medley was as good as we remembered!
Their guitarist looked a bit like Tony Blair, and he kept coming to the front of the stage in front of the monitors to play which we felt unnecessary. Their set ended with a great version of "Good Golly Miss Molly" and the guitarist was playing with the guitar behind his head.
London based Rinaldi Sings (www.myspace.com/rinaldisings) was up next. Steve Rinaldi would not be out of place on the soundtrack of the great London film (starring Jude law and Ray Winstone) Love, Honour & Obey, and he plays the trombone, keyboard and sometimes just sings.
His song "Goodbye Steve McQueen" was a real treat and we felt this was the catchiest song of the day and his set included "Lucky Day" which is one of Minty's favourites from him. His backing band today included Jim on drums and Bob on guitar, both from fellow London band, Kelly's Heels (who were playing later), and we felt Bob's vocals really added a great sound and really complimented Steve's lead.
We liked his set very much.
Up next was supposed to be Ben Jones, doing a solo stint without his Lovedays, but he was a no-show. Instead we were treated to a second appearance from Spygenius.
This did not have any negative impact on their set. They still sounded great, and did the same set of songs as previously (with the exception of the bonus ukelele song) and threw in a couple of anectdotes as well which made us laugh. There were more people in the audience than before and they appeared to really appreciate the band stepping in like the heroes they were.
The drummer somehow managed to break the chain on the bass drum pedal, and the lead singer quickly ad-libbed and did a short, impromptu acoustic number while the pedal got fixed. Good thinking on his feet we thought.
Whilst we thought their performance was good, we were a bit disappointed that none of the band stayed to watch any of the other bands (either before or after their set), especially as audience numbers were light.
Our final band of the night, and indeed of this IPO were Kelly's Heels (www.myspace.com/kellysheels) who gave us a fantastic set of great powerpop. This band is the guru of powerpop, and their vocals were spot on. Their set started with "Same Mistake", "She Doesn't Know It's Wrong" and then a new song called "Imperfect". Their set highlight was "Who's Been Cheating Who" which was just superb in our opinion (introduced as the Pink Panther one!).
Unfortunately Bob's guitar string broke and we felt they ended their set a little early as result - well we could easily have taken in much, much more of this band, guitar string or no guitar string!!!!
It was getting late at this point and although there were two more bands to play, we left to head home. Thus ended our London IPO. Whilst the audience numbers must surely have been disappointing, we did feel that the quality of the bands, on the whole, was great and we do hope that the IPO returns for a second stint next year.