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.