Tuesday, July 14, 2009

singing in the rain

Guilfest, 11th July

I've seen Brian Wilson before a couple of times before. There's nothing new this time. Again he sits behind an unused keyboard, sings, sometimes in tune, now and then forgets the words of his own songs, and drinks from a paper cup while his band construct a show around him. For the third time, he asks anyone who has one to get out their cigarette lighter out and flick it on, then jokes "OK that's twelve cigarette lighters!"

Despite this, he still holds most of the cards: two hours' worth of classic songs, thirty-odd years of mental breakdown now behind him and in recent years seemingly as much a sucker for touring as anyone forty years younger than him, and yes a band of fantastic backing musicians: there's no reason why we won't be back for more next time.

Athlete, for all the bland Coldplayosity which pervades much of their music, can nonetheless rustle up the occasional satisfying singalong chorus, viz. "You got the style", "El Salvador" and "Westside", and they have one great song. Apparently they picked up an Ivor Novello award for it (mind you can be Mike Batt or James Blunt and win one of these):

We get very wet. But we sing along anyway.

Also starring: Linda Lewis, Eddi Reader, Transglobal Underground, The Charlatans, Los Albertos, The Le Brocks.


Wanderer said...

Just to be clear, the cigarette joke was 3 times all at the same gig last Saturday? Amazing.

Does the keyboard really go unused?

(Noticed that you appear to have avoided Toploader :) )

Hoops Hooley said...

No sorry, should have been a bit clearer. I've seen him three times and each time he's used this cigarette "joke". The last time I saw him was in 2004. In five years there's been virtually no change to his stage patter!

I have to confess that I didn't stay until the end of his performance on Saturday. I had to get the train back to Waterloo and was already soaked to the skin. In the previous times I've seen him though I think he might have played the keyboard maybe for one song, and possibly strapped a bass on for one other, but I'm pretty sure neither made any difference to the sound of the band.

Toploader. Yes. Missed 'em. Gutted obviously...