Friday, April 14, 2006

Seek Barfly. Find Barfly. Drink Barfly Dry.

Archie Bronson Outfit/Comanechi/Kid Captain, Barfly, Birmingham, Monday April 3 2006.

This is Dead Kenny's first time at the Barfly, a dark, cavernous club in Digbeth, just before you get to the Custard Factory area from the direction of New Street station. Spacewise, it's slightly bigger than Birmingham Carling Academy 2, but generally the bands that tend to be booked are of Bar Academy popularity levels. Hence, your correspondent feels slightly cold and exposed as he waits for the first band to come on. Time for a beer, then!

Fortunately, not too long to wait until openers Kid Captain come on. Based around the Birmingham and Wolverhampton area, and listing Longpigs as their top influence (that's so cute!), they're young, soaring, energetic and poppy enough to hold the interest. Not as interesting as beer, though. Another pint, barman!

Two-piece boy/girl outfits are ten a penny these days, but former PV SOTW winners Comanechi offer a slightly skewiff variant on the norm by having the girl beat (and we mean beat) the skins while yelping furiously in an exotic brand of English, while the guy gets on with the business of jumping and down while making as much of a handsome racket with his guitar as humanly possible. Dead Kenny has Nadia what the singer's on about half the time, but prefers this sort of raw, primal lifeforce to the second-hand clever-cleverness of far too many upcoming British bands. So they get 9.8 for vitality, 9.7 for technical merit and a 10.0 for carrying on unfazed when the first three letters of their neon sign drop off under the ferocity of their musical onslaught. All that catharsis is thirsty work though, so another beer needed (and is it me, or is the barmaid looking sexier as the night gets on?).

Then, rather unexpectedly, we get a solo turn from some guy with a guitar (no idea who he is, sorry!) who reminds Dead Kenny a little of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy as he sings sad and rather strange songs while extracting sonic teardrops from his guitar. Don't know about you lot, but your correspondent needs a beer to weep into as the barmaid's shoulder is shimmering but just out of reach.

No, it's not Dead Kenny seeing double but the solo guy is now joined by the Archie Bronson Outfit, for whom he provides multi-instrumental accompaniment. ABO have just released their second record (descriptively entitled 'Derdang, Derdang') today so they'll no doubt be a little dissappointed to see the venue only a third full. Having come to see Comanechi primarily, we're not that familiar with the material although recent single 'Dart For My Sweetheart' certainly hits the bullseye. Possibly their songs might seem slightly samey on record, but live this singularity of feel and purpose gives them an undeniable focus and power - they share the rawness of Comanechi but there's a more apparent emotional undertow in the vocal delivery that should broaden their appeal to a wider range of punters.

Dead Kenny is suitably impressed to holler passionately for an encore as he secures his final beverage of the evening from an increasingly-nervous looking barmaid. After a few minutes, realise no-one else is joining in, so feel a little sheepish while securing a gratis Kid Captain promo-CD and skulk off to the merchandise stall. Here, purchase a completely impractical white/dayglo shirt featuring a naked woman, a bunny wabbit and a bucketful of blood from the (half?) Japanese singer from Comanechi. Try to tell her that Dead Kenny's been looking all his life for a woman who can keep up a good beat while working her larynx but she doesn't seem to understand. Her English is fine, she just doesn't understand me.

Meantime, anybody got the cure for hiccups? And man, Dead Kenny gotta pee.

2 Comments:

Anonymous graybo said...

Best PV post in ages. Fact.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Why thank you, sir!

10:02 PM  

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