Make no bones about it; this isn’t the coolest ticket in town tonight by a long shot. That would probably go to the show downstairs featuring Mercury Rev and Howling Bells. One upside of this is that because nobody is bothered by cool, there is a ridiculous amount of unashamed fun to be had tonight.
Take Flipron for instance. They have a bass player that looks like a cross between Herman Munster and Mick Fleetwood, a short ass singer with Marty Feldman eyes and silver shoes, and music that could easily be described as Borderville for The Levellers set but they are great.
Mistys Big Adventure work on similar principals, so make good touring mates. Firstly there are eight of them crammed on stage, including a dancer, more of whom later, and some great brass. Grandmaster Gareth, a curious looking man in fisherman’s cap and full beard conducts proceedings.
They kick off with an instrumental that’s an odd cross between calypso and an old kids TV show theme tune. Following that they launch straight into I Can’t Bring The Time Back, which marks the appearance of Erotic Volvo, which is a man in blue face paint and a red cloak with inflated blue hands attached to it, who will lead us in the dancing. This is a key element tonight; the audience ready to let go and eager to copy his dance movements or to chase him round the floor when he jumps into the crowd. The brass is another key thing, used sparingly and intermittently, sometimes in a call and response fashion. Gareth’s laconic vocals remind you of an understated Eddie Argos from Art Brut, his storytelling style offsets the music perfectly.
This fantastic show by both bands is a result of laughing in the face of adversity, as the promoter had run off with all the money, causing half the tour to be cancelled. They say out of these moments come great art, but now it appears the birth great dumb fun also.
This review was originally published in the December issue of Nightshift. Download the magazine here