Saturday, May 17, 2008

Specs Mark The Spot

The Autumn Store Presents: The Deirdres/Winston Echo/Amida, Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, Saturday May 10 2008, 8.45pm.

In honour of all things Deirdre, the Autumn Store organisers have put six pictures of Corrie character Deirdre Barlow/Raschid in various places within the venue for customers to take a punt as to how many and enter a prize draw of merchandise from all three bands playing. The correct answer is six, and your short-sighted scribe only found two, so no spotters badge for Dead Kenny tonight. Your concentrating correspondent does, however, manage to catch all three acts and these are our views.

Manchester's Amida are hurried on first on the bill so that they can get the train back home, but with a bit of decent fortune their slightly shambly and properly jangly take on alternative pop will bring in enough moolah to get themselves a van real soon. The band take time to thank the audience for being so polite and paying attention to their tunes before beating a path to New Street station. Overall impression: amiable, humble, could well be worth checking them out again real soon.

Winston Echo is a roundish gentleman from Wellingborough who has his own public transport woes to relate, as well as singing some observational lo-fi pop with a little bit of instrumental assistance from some bloke from The Retro Spankees. The missing link between Johnny Vegas and Billy Bragg, he's a bit different from the usual Autumn Store fayre, and the bill feels all the better for his hugely entertaining turn.

The Deirdres from Derby are huge in number and young of age, and there's too much going on at any one time to take all of it in at first. They start the show with their backs turned to the audience and have their own dance routine before revealing that they're all in character by wearing a pair of big Deirdre specs either on their face, their head or coquettishly tucked into their blouses. There are obvious comparisons to Los Campesinos! and another fashionable twist sees the group swap instruments and vocal turns with dizzying regularity.

Which is all very well, but does it all work? By and large, yes, aside from a slight glitch with that most evil of instruments, the recorder (the distant memories of disinfectant taste and clumsy fingers still bedevil your haunted hack), these precocious upstarts reveal talent, invention and more than decent songwriting skills. One suspects it may have taken years of practice and preparation for them to be this gauche and yet so good and so fun. The Deirdres, then: not a Barlow par performance between them.

Curious to see these acts for yourself? All three will be performing at the Indietracks festival in July in The Deirdres' home county of Derbyshire.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Simon said...

The Deirdres once played on the Antiques Roadshow. It's on YouTube somewhere. Everyone around tries their best not to look too baffled.

Are you 'doing' Indietracks, then? I'm there for both days this year, LC!'s headlining slot being the icing on what was already a pretty rich cake.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Simon, that's priceless. The things bands will do for brass in pocket, eh?

As for Indietracks, am sorely tempted, it's a great line-up, I'm hoping to show my face for at least one of the days but nothing booked as yet.

Be sure to check out Liechtenstein when you go, they're splendid.

9:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home