Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And You Will Know Them By The Trail Of Dead Kenny

The Kissaway Trail/Envy And Other Sins, The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, Thursday July 12 2007.

We don't often get decent gigs down Shropshire way, so perhaps we shouldn't complain too much when things don't start off on time. But when the posters advertise 8pm doors, it's not unreasonable to ask questions when you turn up at 8.25pm to be told they're not ready yet and could you pop round the Britannia for 15mins while they set things up? Still, not being the complaining sort(!) your correspondent does indeed investigate said pub, settle down with a pint of Youngs's, and sample the best of the pub jukebox to while away the quarter-hour experiment -

Parallax Real-Life Jukebox, The Britannia, Shrewsbury, 12/07/07

Golden Skans - Klaxons
Country Girl - Primal Scream
Pacific State - 808 State
All Around The World - The Jam
Dakota - Stereophonics

Do the best of a bad job there, reckon, so duck and dive past postal workers drifting in off the picket line to wet their whistle and head back to The Buttermarket where the KT standstill is over, the doors are now open but the Caffreys casks are empty so Guinness it is. First band don't make it on stage until 9.10pm and your blackstuff-imbibing hack doesn't quite catch their name but they're from Birmingham, the lead singer is trying his best to sound like Ray LaMontagne, they have a cute cellist and that's about as much as can think of to say about them at this point.

Next up is another Brum-based band, Envy And Other Sins, a stylish quartet picking up a fair amount of momentum at the moment it seems, and the group members seem to have very distinct looks/personalities which may help them in the long run. They peddle a polite form of keyboard driven pop-rock, which while occasionally diverting, only really comes to life in the more rousing numbers that bookend the set. That said, they have the potential to be moulded into a chart-troubling post-emo pop act with the right guidance, and, after all, the green-eyed monster is never far away, n'est-ce pas?

By the time The Kissaway Trail find the route onstage your timetable-consulting scribe is already having concerns about making the last train home, but such anxieties are nearly immediately allayed by the impressively dark pop noise they create. Imagine Interpol and The Monkees exchanging secret sonic handshakes at a mountainside spa resort while The Wannadies tend the bar under the watchful gaze of Wayne Coyne as Maitre'D and you've at the very least taken a mazy meander inside Dead Kenny's imagination if not been given an exact aural interpretation of the wares on offer. If you require something less verbose it's bloody good stuff to bounce up and down to after a few pints of Guinness, with 'Smother+Hurt=Evil'; 'Tracy' and 'La La Song' amongst the standouts. XXX marks your hack's spot sufficiently that he doesn't buy the company as such (relatively old and greying compared to our last Salop gig) but instead resolves to purchase the band's self-titled debut with appropriate speed and elan.

Related link: The Prykemeister's 2005 impression of Moseley's Envy And Other Sins (need to scroll down a little).

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Blogger Ben said...

Yep, there is a bit of the Wannadies about them. That's a bit I don't like. Too neat, too tidy - but the album is very good all the same and well worth getting. Perhaps I'd enjoy it even more if I'd seen them live?

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Russ L said...

Opening times stated on flyers/posters for DIY gigs are a vague guess at absolute best. Take this from someone who has put gigs on in the past.

Anyway, I suspect your first band there may possibly have been Reverie Strings. I like them.

How far away are we from your writings on the subject of Supersonic? I'm looking forward to reading them.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Yeahp, Russ, that's them: spotter's badge young man! What gave it away, the singer sounding like LaMontagne or the cute cellist?

As for Supersonic, I suspect it'll be the weekend before Dead Kenny's definitive review. But I have a feeling it'll be worth it.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Russ L said...

'Twas a combination of Birmingham/Lamontagne/the very presence of a cellist (whatever she might look like).

I came so close to meeting you at Soup 'n' Sonic - Pete and I went a-looking at the end, but couldn't find you.

8:26 AM  

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