Friday, 25 September 2009

live review:zoey van goey/strike the colours shrewsbury 24/09/09

ive seen some odd gigs in my time. performance art madness? 200 kids squeezed into a sweatbox that holds half that number? gigs knee deep is mud and shit? mothers milk mate. bring it on. this, however, was the maddest gig ive ever been to. the gig itself was held in a small theatre on the shrewsbury school campus, a VERY upmarket public school that john peel and all that mob attended in their charcoal shorts and knee socked prime. the venue itself was very nice, more like a lecture hall really. i pay my money to a very friendly chap who seemed like 1950's house master(who turned out to be kim out ZVG's dad) and enter the hall. the audience seems to comprise of posh peoples parents(all twin sets, pearls and haw haw laughter. and they ALL wore exactly the same glasses) and rugby shirted 12 year old kids. bizarre.
during the 'interval' between bands, i have a drink in a referees room doubling as a bar selling wine(red or white, already in glasses) and orange juice. on the wall is a photo of a man called Piers scoring a goal against a team called 'Saint Cuthberts'. the star and garter this is not.


strike the colours were up first, who are a band of charming glasgow mother folkers. full of violin lead waltzes that crashed into pounding string lead sways. pretty, perky and charming with some seriously skilled guitar hysterics dropped in every now and again, the band are supertight and the hall, amply equipped to handle the acoustics and the beauty of jenny reeves's voice, was duly warmed through. "that was lovely" said a woman in a twin set and the biggest pair of earings ive ever seen,"rather like folk wasnt it sebastien?" sebastien nodded, and inwardly so did i. i was really quite charmed.

next up, entering the stage to the politest applause this side of Lords, was zoey van goey. an equally folky quintet whos quiet, hushed hymn like songs explode into the sound of huge waves crashing into the rocks. recalling in places noah and the whale and even the beta band, they had the ability to be inspiringly experimental. it didnt always work, but when it did it was breath taking, like a folky(that word again) doves with beautiful and bewitching harmonies. other tricks up the bands sleeves were wonderful skiffley sea shanties and indiepop jangles of such joie de verve that the guitarist very nearly shuffled his fringe off his head. delightful stuff. a mention must go to their canadian drummer, who could very easily give lee thompson in the nicest drummer in pop stakes.

so, the poshest gig ive been to by far, but also one of the friendliest and most charming. two bands with lots of scope and colour and shade, cheered on by the PTA. shouldnt work, but it jolly well did.

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