Tonight got off to a spookily well organised 7:30pm start.
There was an unforgettably diverse mix of four bands ranging from flowing white linen wearing indie hippies, to confused little emo kids. It seemed that the line up may have got a bit tangled; one would normally expect the best to be saved until last. First up were Daddy Long Legs, in spite of which they were the night’s diamond in the rough.
Daddy Long Legs are an enigmatic, three-piece of boys ranging from twenty-something to forty-something who are based in Ealing, mostly due to its prime Frisbee location.
To be blunt, they sound like Weezer would if Rivers was dosed with a high concentration of testosterone and a couple of Red Bulls; terrific. Despite being “unsigned and seeking management”, their attack was energetic and generated a good response from their ever expanding crowd due to their early time slot. Their set list was comprised of two Wesley Willis dedications – “a 6 foot 5 big fat black homeless guy who lived in Chicago”. The highlight of the set was ‘Jake Made Me Ride’, by the point of which, having arrived slightly late to the sound check, they had finally managed to warm-up to a really good performance level. Throughout the set they were at ease with one another and their audience which, combined with their bouncing around on stage and their nice guitar sections, made for a really enjoyable performance, regardless of apparently not being as “tight” as they might had they managed to arrive on time.
Second up on the list was happy/angry hippie/indie folk three piece – Les Natrels. In stark contrast to the former, Les Natrel’s lacklustre performance did nothing to accentuate the quality of the composition of their music. Had they been really good it would have been difficult to tell, due to their inability to tune their own guitars. Kitted out entirely in white linen uniforms and reasonably amicable towards one another they still pulled off a clap at the end of their set.
“We are Mazuma Fly and we are going to play some songs for your entertainment.” Mazuma Fly were best described as “typically self absorbed skinny emo rockers” by one member of the crowd. Their performance came across as a bit half-arsed and they seemed to be oblivious to their audience. As I learnt that night, in keeping with emo tradition, was that the gain on the lead guitar was turned right up, giving the effect of a lot of noise but indefinable notes pretty much summing up their whole performance. Most noticeable about their set however, was their hyperactive drummer with his tiny little arms flying all over the place accentuating his talent nicely. It would appear that Mazuma Fly would have been better appreciated had they replaced Towers of London at Virgin Megastore’s Kerrang Day of Rock.
Last up were Semaphore, who ended up coming across as a mixture of Interpol and The Departure with a Jack White look-a-like front man. Their songs were definitely one up on the previous two bands. The instrumentals dominated the performance but again, lacked in the performance department with some misguided jumping, although the lead maintained good eye contact throughout much to their credit.
Semaphore sang depressing songs about girls and life’s misgivings while still managing to shake their hips a little. Their pretty acoustic numbers were a pleasant contrast to their deep electrics and wisely placed pauses excelled their performance. Their songs were drawn out but maintained a good sense of atmosphere – we wait to monitor the success of forthcoming single ‘Tempest’.