So to Gigbeth on Saturday. The weather outside was frightful, was the line-up delightful? Well there were enough interesting-sounding acts, and seeing more than one band would be an improvement over yesterday.
The 4Talent stage started with a bonus half an hour from Pete Ashton and The Thingamigoops, they’ve got one great song — don’t know the name, we’ll call it the one that goes “widdly widdly widdly weeeeep” — and it can sustain 30 minutes. I’m a big fan of the little one, he should go solo.
Rich Batsford had the bonus of a crowd bolstered by people arriving to see the (metal, judging by the fans’ appearance) band on downstairs who were locked out of the room (and in a masterpiece of planning all of the blokes’ toilets in the building). He managed to captivate them with nothing more than his piano and good nature, despite the fact that contemplative and mellow probably wasn’t their reason for turning up. Bizarrely, one guy liked Rich enough to be intently taking photos, but not enough to listen — he’d got his iPod on and turned right up. Maybe he’s got a thing for beards.
I hated Iain Woods and the Psychologists, Iain seems to have been working on one of the world’s most obnoxious stage personas in his bedroom and mangles his good voice by attempting to sound like he’s from the Bronx. Obnoxious stage personas are no barrier to pop success tho’ (look at Bono, although that’s maybe personality rather than stage persona) and the beats, violins and live painted backdrop are certainly unusual enough and good enough to make it big.
To South Birmingham College, where the punters can be trusted with glass glasses and where Sparky’s Elvis statue now lives.
Dennis Seaton from Musical Youth seems to be the nicest man ever to be unfairly maligned as a One Hit Wonder (the Youth had seven hits, as my Guinness Book of Hit Singles proves). The band are infectious in their enthusiasm, shamelessly playing what they think the crowd will go for (obvious, nay cheesy covers) and indulging in a bit of audience participation. They’re worth more than being laughed at by VH-1, who were filming for the where are they now files.
K-k-k-k-k-Kano was K-k-k-k-k-fifty minutes late and though he is obviously a very talented rapper the tunes he raps over are absolute dross for the most part, sub Color Me Badd wailing. If he had a Dr Dre he could be fantastic, but it’s not there yet. The ‘DJ’, who is playing the tunes one by one off a CD has one trick. It’s to turn the volume down so the crowd can shout the chorus. When Kano falls into obscurity the DJ has only to pick up a copy of ‘Hi-Ho-Silver Lining’ and he’s got a career in bad wedding DJ-ing all sewn up. Kano has the skill to wear his trousers below his bum and he’s got a body-warmer with his name on it.
A related, but tangential, point how do the young chaps who wear their trousers at this height go to the toilet for a number one? Do they stuff their hands down the top and wrestle the old-man over the belt line? Hoist the trousers up to a more conventional level and use the flies, one hand on John Thomas, the other hooked into a belt loop? Or do they always go for a sit-down wee wee?
Kano also has the obligatory posse, three blokes in M&S jumpers standing at the back of the stage, and one dude filming the show from the worst angle possible — side on. He’s got the access to stand on stage, so I’m sure he would be allowed to stand in the photo pit. My best guess is that he’s seen Kano’s strides fall down during a bit of Grime exertion before and has his eyes on £250 from You’ve Been Framed.
Kano is hugely, inexplicably to me, popular with the kids crushed up against the barriers — maybe he sounds amazing on tinny mobile phone speakers.
The SugarHill Gang are old school in more than one sense. The beats, the attitude, and the children’s party vibe. Storming set, and frankly hillarious attempt to create a New York block party vibe by getting ten pissed up brummies to dance badly on stage with them. Less NY ’80 more Perry Common ’92.
And so, to bed. We has videos, which will be posted soon.