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.