Tonight’s gig was something of a Dirty Stop Outs special, kindly putting on tonight’s gig in The Birdcage. On the recommendation of the Rainbow Girls I chose their London gig at the Slaughtered Lamb with Itchy Teeth who came highly recommended by the girls who thought I’d like the band. They were not wrong, I was really drawn to their catchy 60s vibe, memorable pop tunes and all round positive demeanour. For several months since we have been trying to sort out a Norwich date and finally it all came together with Robbie and Dan loving their videos and sorting out an extra Dirty Stop Outs to accommodate the band on their tour, this being their first trip to Norwich.
I caught up with them during their soundcheck just before they popped over the way for chips at The Grosvenor and a short walk around the city centre. They loved Norwich!
Local band Surco were providing the support, looking impossibly young albeit with singer/bassist Jasper bravely battling some kind of flu virus who was clearly struggling but unwilling to admit defeat. Pippin had a near disastrous guitar issue before their soundcheck but thankfully some field repairs courtesy of a screwdriver from the Grosvenor saved the day. They have quite a big sound, some of the more experimental instrumental numbers towards the end of the set were my favourites and they have a few earworm melodies. It was actually my first time hearing them but probably not the best time with such apparent illness for Jasper.
Nice to see Itchy Teeth in the audience being so attentive and supportive before they took to the stage for their own set. Looking every inch the band they are and exuding the sort of positivity that made it obvious why they clicked so well with Rainbow Girls, they proceeded to play a great set with wonderful energy. There wasn’t a weak song in the hour long set which seemed to fly by, from brilliant opener Time Machine to the Beatles’ Helter-Skelter-esque Did We Start a War? that closed the night. Although the audience was not as large as was hoped for (eleven gigs in Norwich Music City UK on this particular Wednesday) it was a very attentive and appreciative one who were treated to the entirety of the forthcoming album plus a few older favourites. It was clear to see that the band won over everyone, with their songs and also their engaging personalities. Confident, talented and supremely likable, their 60s pop melodies, harmonies, jangly guitars with groovy bass and drums would go down a storm in somewhere like the Crypt (especially on a Jug Jaw’s Beat Club night) but their ambition is apparently to play in Norwich Arts Centre, which pleased me no end. I hope this can happen, maybe a support slot with the Girls or someone else equally suitable?
There’s a lot of potential for this band, they just need to be heard, ideally in the live setting where they absolutely thrive. I was so pleased to see them in the fine city, and overjoyed that they loved it here so much. They have great humour (they described the coloured market stalls as “little training shops”) and a passion for what they do. I was glad to buy a copy of their red vinyl single Going Up to Mars and their live CD to sustain me until the next time our paths cross. Check them out and if they come this way again don’t miss them, they’re special and infectious.
A small but privileged-to-be-there audience had a great time, and special mention to Robbie who absolutely nailed it with the sound.
Huge thanks to Itchy Teeth and Dirty Stop Outs, as well as Surco and The Birdcage … and of course, Rainbow Girls!
TUE 29 March – LONDON – The Monarch
WED 30 March – NORWICH – The Birdcage Norwich
THU 31 March – DEAL – The Lighthouse
SAT 2 April – SOUTHAMPTON – Lennon’s Nightclub & Venue
SUN 3 April – BRIGHTON – World’s End (Brighton)
MON 4 April – SOUTHEND – The Railway Hotel
TUE 5 April – BIRMINGHAM – Actress and Bishop (official)
WED 6 April – MANCHESTER – Dulcimer Bar
Thu 7 April – MANCHESTER – Mono
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2016