Scarlet’s well, The Jazz Butcher, Gerry Mitchell & Little Sparta Live 14.6.06

Scarlet’s Well, The Jazz Butcher, Gerry Mitchell & Little Sparta

Originally PostedDate         6/19/2006 2:44:00 AM

Live @ The Luminaire, Kilburn 14.6.06.


I walked round the corner from home to see this

show on a Hot June Evening with most of the bars

on Kilburn High road tuned to the Germany Poland


First on was Resonance FM regular Bard Gerry

Mitchell and his minimalist backing band Little

Sparta, Gerry is a dour Glaswegian poet with a

delivery similar to the guy from Arab Strap, or

a Trainspotting type character and all his

songs/poems are about bad things and trouble and

the dark side of life, set with low pulsing

guitars and very restrained drumming they set up

a nice dark mood.

Then it was time for me to see the Jazz Butcher

Conspirators for the first time in about 12

years or so, as over the intervening years Pat

Fish hasn’t played around that much and has

fallen almost off the musical radar, but thanks

to a couple of re-issues and the roping in of

his original Guitarist Max Eider they are back.

No matter how much they have aged from back when

I saw them as much as 5 times in one week!

They opened with Party Time from the Grooving In

The Bus Lane EP, hard to believe it’s 20 years

old now, still sounded as fresh as ever. And we

we’re off on a “greatest hits” set that had

everything from Real Men through to She’s On

Drugs and on towards Sister Death that sounds

like my life from Pat’s intro saying it’s about

an a guy who ought to buy a motorbike and

instead goes out with a nurse, and worse than

that she’s a Goth too, he didn’t mention being

younger than you too, but it was close enough

for me!! All that was missing to complete the

picture would have been Death Dentist!!

Still they know how to get a crowd going and by

the time they finished with Southern Mark Smith

off of Scandal In Bohemia they had got the room

really going and it was good to see them back in

such good form. They encored with a great

version of Take The Skinheads Bowling that had

most of us singing along to it.


Then headlining were Scarlets’s Well who are a

unruly mob of a 9 piece fronted by Bid who was

an original member of Adam and the Ants back in

the 70’s but is best known as the

singer/frontman for The Monochrome Set, he was

also the least together member of the band

frequently looking like he had no clue what song

the rest of the band was playing, the sound they

made veered from the Tindersticks to some sort

of Kurt Weill Opera for the new millennium, lots

of lyrical interplay between the three singers,

I really liked the Violin and Mandolin player

and the sounds coming from the Keyboards were a

trip as well. They often seemed shocked if they

finished songs together and as if they almost

didn’t know each other, which was kind of

strange and compelling at the same time, with a

bit more focus they could certainly take off in

a big way like an English Arcade Fire or Broken

Social Scene crossed with the sea shanty end of

the Pogues .

I really enjoyed seeing them but came away

feeling like they missed having any catchy tunes

as I can’t remember that much of any of them

less than a week later!


This review was originally on Myspace and the Unofficial Soup Kitchen.


About simonovitch

Writer poet music freak etc etc based in London you'll find out more by reading my blogs.
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