I took the opportunity to visit Fibbers in York on Friday night for an excellent gig organised as a benefit for York Hospital Radio by a young man who I think will go a long way and be very succesful in band management and music promotion. His name is Simon Pattinson, this is the third gig organised him that I have attended and frankly he has a great record in getting hold of some terrific bands and tonight was no exception. So when you hear him described as the new Harvey Goldsmith, remember where you read it first!
First band up was The Deep State Collective. They had to limit themselves to a relatively hastily arranged acoustic set after their guitarist had to pull out due to illness. I heard a whisper that the singer wasn’t feeling too good either. If the latter was true then this dude is a real trouper! Their set was pretty accomplished and they clearly have some good songs. Jules and Chris, I thought you did an excellent job, I really enjoyed your set. As for the litmus test, well I would definitely go and see this band again. Check them out if you get a chance!
Deep State Collective
I was joined at the gig by another friend of mine; big shout to another Simon and his lovely wife Marie. Hello Mr & Mrs Hernaman. They missed the first band but arrived in plenty of time for IO who were next on stage. This was apparently their first live gig, which is kind of hard to believe given how well they played. The singer is Ollie Webb formerly of Swimwear Juniors and the drummer is Sam Ford once of the band One Night Only. Sam is a truly wonderful drummer, like Keith Moon spliced genetically with Animal from the Muppets and I mean that in a really good way. The band was really tight and seemed bloody well rehearsed. The singer was also a rather spiffing percussionist too. Do they sound like anyone else? Possibly, Simon H reckoned he detected an element of Echo & the Bunnymen. We also agreed that they would be a great draw at Freshers week in any University town in the country. I hope these guys go on to bigger things and personally I believe they will.
It was a tough choice but I think the next band just shaded it from the headliners as my favourite band of the night. They were a York based band known as Stone Ugly. This female fronted quartet know a lot about stagecraft, production values and image. They built their entrance up with a piece of the Willy Wonka movie (starring Gene Wilder) and some dry ice (or maybe a smoke machine). The whole band also had some fab red stripes running the length of their faces from hairline to chin along the line of their right eye. Pretty damned effective too. In a bizarre twist of fate I was actually drinking Red Stripe beer all night too! What did they sound like? Well for me there was a big helping of Prog Rock served up with a dollop or two of New Wave and Post Punk sounds. I loved their song “Can A Leopard Change It’s Spots” Jenna, the lead singer has a really versatile and powerful rock voice. Does she sound like anyone else? To me maybe Siouxse Sioux, Hazel O’Connor (thanks to Simon H for that one) and possibly Karen O off of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I reckon these guys would go down a storm at Reading and Leeds.
The headliners were Maven Fiction. Their mainman was the lead singer from the Shadracks when I saw them a while back. Maven Fiction’s sound is much less jangly indie pop and much more electronic with a possible heavy influence from Mike Skinner off of the Streets. Regular readers will know that I have long been a big fan of the Streets. The counter vocals from the female vocalist were a brilliant counterpane for the lead vocal of Mr Maven Fiction himself. That can’t be his real name can it? His Mum was also there and there was even a suggestion that she might do a Pans People, sadly she didn’t! Back to the music though, I really like this new direction and I rushed to buy the CD they were selling at the end. An E.P. for just £1, that’s a real bargain. It’s bloody good too, it’ll be on my iPod very soon. The band was joined briefly by Jenna off of Stone Ugly on tambourine.Mr Fiction also has some has some real balls; he finished his set by stepping out into the audience with just an acoustic guitar. He didn’t only sing bloody well but he even got us all singing along. They have a few gigs lined up in New York. Good luck with those shows guys and I’ll be back to see you again some time I’m sure.
All in all an excellent night, just a pity too many of you didn’t make it. You’d better be there next time, because we know where you live! 😉