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Experimental Pop Band - Magnet Club, Berlin, 23/3/2004

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 20 / 4 / 2004



Experimental Pop Band - Magnet Club, Berlin, 23/3/2004

intro

Upbeat Bristol quartet the Experimental Pop Band are masterminded by one of Britain’s most undervalued songwriters, Davey Woodward. Long term fan Dixie Ernill watches them play a stunning set in Berlin


Situated in the eastern suburbs of the German capital, the Magnet Club is an oasis of cool amongst the dark buildings of yesteryear. Regularly serving up a heady cocktail of UK indie tracks in its bar’s laid-back surroundings of plush velvet drapes and deep inviting sofas, the club has proved a Mecca for enlightened hip young Berliners. Additionally, with its intimate concert room at the rear, it has become an up and coming venue for touring bands. Both the Veils and the Stands are already lined up for later in the month, but tonight it’s the turn of The Experimental Pop Band, the stylish Bristol quartet masterminded by one of Britain’s most undervalued songwriters, Davey Woodward. Arriving in the bar just as the support act are taking the stage, The EPB are in an upbeat mood, clearly enjoying their European tour so far. Keyboard player and relaxed Irishman, Joe Rooney, talks of the difficulties in obtaining directions from the locals in Dresden yesterday, when the band were looking for venue the Titty Twister and reveals how close the band were to landing the support slot on Belle and Sebastian’s current European jaunt. During the pre-gig round of drinks, Davey confirms that a clutch of UK dates are being lined up to support forthcoming single '1000 Screaming Girls' due out in May. A set list is casually drawn up a few minutes before show time and the band troop back stage for final preparations. The last few stragglers leave the bar and join the ¾ full majority in the back room to await The EPB’s arrival. A minute later and the band are onstage and belting out 'Punk Rock Classic', a single from 1999’s 'Homesick' LP. Easily transcending its conservative recorded self, the song is transformed into a throbbing electro-pop anthem that certainly breathes renewed life into the Sunday night crowd. 'Weekend', the first slice from cracking current LP, 'Tarmac and Flames', ensures the atmosphere doesn’t drop and the stomping 'Gothenburg' with its pounding beat forces things up a notch further. The sleazy 'I Can’t Stand It 'works particularly well with the slide show backdrop that accompanies the whole set. Davey then teases the crowd with his desire to see “The Experimental Pop Band” daubed on scarves, like the ones waved by teeny-boppers at 70’s groups like the Osmonds and the Jacksons, prior to launching into the pure pop of 'Ski Machines'. The dark and simply superb 'Accident' captivates the audience perfectly, as its true tale of a car crash unfolds, before the mood is lightened by the title track from the current LP being given a rare, but welcome outing. Slightly stripped down from the lush orchestration of its studio self, the rich frothy core still shines through. The guitar is then cranked up for the haunting 'Desert Me', setting things up nicely for a couple of offerings from 2001’s 'Tracksuit Trilogy' LP. First up is 'Bang, Bang You’re Dead', a swaggering Latino espionage romp, while 'Emotion' is yet more classic disco pop. Both delight in equal measures, before the near perfect pop of 'The Hippies Don’t Know' brings the set to a rousing close, with the audience a sea of dance. The band quickly returns to tease out early single 'James Remains' and a completely new track, 'Rain'., the latter being absolutely ace and surely a future smash, with its choppy guitar hook and instantly memorable melody. Due to even more demands for the band to continue they return for an unprecedented 2nd encore, dusting down a Melody Maker single of the week from 1997, 'Boutique in My Backyard', to sendthe crowd wild once more. Sadly there is no more; just beers and fascinating tales at the bar before its time to load up the van (an old adapted ambulance). With much regret I decline the offer to travel with the band to their next gig in Copenhagen…….., but catch this band as soon as you can before they take over the universe or get sucked into the mundane grind of life their songs so eloquently portray.



Band Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/The-Experimental-pop-band-177415815647664/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Experimental_Pop_Band


Picture Gallery:-
Experimental Pop Band - Magnet Club, Berlin, 23/3/2004


Experimental Pop Band - Magnet Club, Berlin, 23/3/2004



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