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Miscellaneous - 229 , London, 22/6/2013

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 30 / 6 / 2013

Miscellaneous - 229 , London, 22/6/2013


Coinciding with a five CD 1980's indie pop box set, Scared to Get Happy was a mini festival at 229 in London featuring ten bands of the era. Dixie Ernill enjoys sets from the Primitives and June Brides, and the return after a twenty year absence of his favourite band the Brilliant Corners

Most good ideas never leave the pub where they are conceived, so it is testament to the persuasive persistence and belief of John Reed and his team that the above took place at all. The fact that ten decent bands where signed up to play and did play, the night ran like clockwork and the whole thing was bloody fantastic was nothing short of a minor miracle. Kicking off reasonably early and spreading the bands across two rooms with only a small amount of overlap enabled everyone the opportunity to get their fill of all things indie-pop. Arriving slightly late, I catch the last half dozen songs by Birmingham band Mighty, Mighty and I am impressed that while the members have obviously aged from their 80’s heyday, their ability to belt out some catchy tunes has not. 'Is There Anybody Out There for Me?' is a jangly masterclass and 'Maisonette' is as carefree as ever, while set closer, a boisterous 'Built Like a Car', suggests this band were/are more than just also-rans. Next up is something I honestly thought would never happen - my favourite band, the Brilliant Corners, back on stage over twenty years since my one and only previous live experience of them. I knew they had been rehearsing a fair bit leading up to this gig and, of course, Davey Woodward has fronted the wonderful, but criminally ignored, Experimental Pop Band for most of the last couple of decades, but I didn’t expect they would be this good. Joining front man Woodward were original members Bob Morris (Drums) and Tony ‘Winston’ Forbes (guitar), together with Phil Elvins (guitar) who played in the band between 1988 and 1991. Falk Bennett had the unenviable task of filling the shoes of the late Chris Galvin on bass, but did a fine job, and a young trumpeter comfortably fulfils the role of Dan Pacini. The set list is near perfect, with a fair slice coming from the band’s 1988 LP 'Somebody Up There Likes Me', along with classic singles such as 'Delilah Sands' and 'Why Do You Have to Go Out With Him, When You Could Go Out with Me?' Throw in a rousing 'Growing Up Absurd' and sublime 'Jim’s Room', and you’d think things couldn’t get better. You’d be wrong. Four words - 'Meet Me on Tuesdays' – the ultimate two and a half minutes of musical perfection – suddenly I’m a swirling mess of limbs and satisfyingly I’m not alone either. Tens of 40-somethings, maybe 50-somethings are all going crazy too. The cherry on the top, not that one was needed, is the arrival on stage of indie-pop icon Amelia Fletcher to sing backing vocals on the last three or four songs including 'Teenage' and final song – the indie disco mainstay 'Brian Rix'. Simply awesome. In the smaller room the Popguns rightly go down a storm playing compilation LP 'Eugiene' in its entirety, followed by a stonking 'Bye Bye Baby' (their own song, not the Bay City Rollers number that they have covered in the past). Wendy Morgan and the lads are on fine form and sound fresh and vibrant. Surely they are an influence on more recent indie-pop bands such as the charming Allo Darlin? The Primitives, with diminutive singer Tracy Tracy still packing in the same energy as she did in 1986, rattle through a hits heavy set including 'Turn off the Moon', 'Thru The Flowers', 'Crash' and 'Way Behind Me'. They are pretty good value too. Last band playing are the June Brides and after 'Every Conversation' bounces by it’s time to head for the tube. £137 in a cheap hotel - worth every penny.

Picture Gallery:-
Miscellaneous - 229 , London, 22/6/2013

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