It’s three in the afternoon and the sun is shining brightly down on our fair city. I’ve a cider inside me, I’m with a couple of good friends and I’m about to spend the day watching a dozen or so of the best-kept secrets in Britain, courtesy of those good people at Gringo Records. And all for £7. Bonus!
The doors swing open to the city’s brightest new art space, the fridge is full and selling cheap cold lager, and every bogger in the place has a big old smile on their face. Especially Elvis. Not the King himself (he’s dead, you fools!), but Elvis, the drummer from the marvellous band Lords, who aren’t even on until .
Venturing upstairs to seek out the toilets I stumble upon the Shiatsu room. Half expecting to walk in and bump into a few dogs, I’m kind of half disappointed that it turns out to be some form of massage. Not on my watch, soldier - there’s music to listen to, and dagnabbit, I want some more.
Next up are the
After a quick trip around the merchandise it’s back downstairs for Owen Tromans and the Elders. Like a latter-day Wedding Present (and with their mams and dads watching), the Elders pleasant enough bubblegum pop is easy on the ear, but seemed slightly out of place with the rest of the day. Never mind, you’ll get the chance to work them out for yourselves when they come to Bunkers Hill in August.
The evening starts after a bag of chips and a re-union set from the now-defunct Reynolds who treat an audience, now seemingly full of man-bags, to a rhythmic and choppy sound. Not unsurprisingly for a band who split many moons ago, their unfamiliarity unfortunately fails to get the proceedings really into full swing.
Sailors do their best to though, with a lead singer who’s clearly not afraid to mix it with the audience, but it’s Souvaris who provide the evening’s first bout of real entertainment. Fresh from hauling their arses around Europe promoting their new album A Hat, the Nottingham five-piece arrive with bags full of party poppers, blowers and balloons and the audience respond in kind.As a friend said afterwards “I always thought they used to sound like a Mogwai that aren’t so far up their own arses, but I’m easily pleased and they easily pleased me.”
Regular(ish) readers of Left Lion will know quite how much I love Lords (with the ever-smiling Elvis on drums). and tonight they do not disappoint. From the opening song, the excellently-titled I Want To See You Drunk And Dancing Like A Russian to the closing crowd-pleaser Pint of Wine the city-based three-piece put the ‘F’ into fun. Everyone go out now and buy their album. Come on, chop-chop.
Then, just as you think it can’t get any better, headliners Part Chimp stagger on to the stage as drunk as 99 pirates, buzzsaw their way through a stunningly loud set of oldies and newies, fall backwards breaking somebody else’s amps and disappear into the night. Probably to find more booze.
A great day run by great people in a great atmosphere in the greatest city in the world. And I’ll bet Elvis is still smiling.