This gig night represented the best and worst of the smaller nights in London. The best element was undoubtedly the Playing Fields whose music in the live context was even more brilliant than on their debut album. The worst element to it was that no-one was there to see it!
The gig night suffered from one of the prime rules of gig promoting, playing too many bands with differing styles. The two opening acts were electro in nature, and although inoffensive, were a little too bland for my tastes. Grosvenor was a singer who suffered from twiddling the knobs on his various machines for too long, although a brilliant recreation of a live Springsteen guitar solo redeemed himself slightly in my eyes, but only slightly. The penultimate band consisted of about twenty people from Brooklyn who all had guitars and were making one-hell of a racket. Many in the crowd had come to see them and promptly disappeared as the dreaded call of the last tube was nearing.
After this Yankee band spent about half an hour cleaning up after themselves, the Playing Fields played to an almost empty auditorium. Which is a complete shame as the band undoubtedly have the talent. Quite why this had been organised like this remains to be seen – they should have started earlier, shifted the acts around, and quite why the Playing Fields were headlining a gig where two of the opening acts are pure electroshit or whatever is beyond me.
But anyway, to the gig. The band played a selection of material from their recent album, Hello New World. They also played a new composition that they had jammed out together the night before. The band are a scruffy, ragged bunch, but what they may lack in rock and roll style certainly more than make up for in musical talent. The band were tight, edgy and played that sure-fire mix of downbeat lyrical content, mixed with upbeat, edgy music. Sounding a little more like Nirvana than on their record, they did not disappoint and produced one of the loudest sounds to be heard by so few. Final song, ‘The Scientist’ was even more disturbing than on record and was a great way to finish the concert.
Definitely a band worth seeing if you have the occasion. This band deserve more than badly planned gig nights at the Waterats.