Music etc.

I refuse to say a bloody word about this week’s Labour Party rows; let’s just leave it at the fact that I’m voting Tory at the next general elections. There are far more important things afoot in my life than the childish tantrums of politicians. For one thing, one of my favourite bands split up last week. They were known as The Shocks and I came across them supporting Rattlesnake Remedy at Edward’s No. 8 a few months ago. Their lead singer, Zara Burroughs, has an incredible voice and unbelievable stage presence, especially as one of only a tiny number of female leads I’ve seen who don’t peddle a fashionista glamour-girl image. I hope she reappears on Birmingham’s live scene at the front of a new band sometime soon.

It has to be said that music is a huge driving force in my life and has been from a very early age, something that I’ve never really mentioned online before. I try to go to gigs in Birmingham as often as I can, especially given that my adoptive home city has a thriving alternative music scene. Forget the clubs on the ‘entertainment mile’ of Broad Street; the real action’s at Dale End and in Edward’s No. 8…

That said, sometimes the Broad Street clubs do something a bit different. During my first year I towed Rose and Duckman to see The Toxic Twins, an Aerosmith tribute, at Brannigan’s. The night was a quiet one, the pub hadn’t promoted the event well, but we came across something we didn’t recognise for what it was at first. The support act were a bunch of guys no older than us playing a repetitive round of songs about eating pussy, about fifty per cent of which had pauses in the sound wall after the second chorus. Their songs were mediocre, but their musicianship was pretty good. A year later, I found them headlining at Edward’s No. 8. They had improved a lot, their songs were distinguishable and now rather good and their stage delivery had skyrocketed. They were Rattlesnake Remedy, and their debut single was released the next week. It reached number 6 in the Radio 1 rock chart, bouncing somewhere around the top 50 or 60 of the real charts. Given how they’ve been doing in terms of radio and magazine coverage recently, I reckon they’re going to pretty big in the next twelve months or so. Their debut album, Magic Man, is released on 16th October. Yes, there will be a review on here.

In other news, I was playing around on the Top of the Pops website last week and came across the amazing ‘Chelsea Dagger’ by The Fratellis. Hearing the unique blend of thirties jazz and indie rock kind of softened the blow of the demise of The Shocks for me a little. I checked out The Fratellis’ website and was pleased to find that their debut is released today and seems to have the same sense of fun as the single. And they’re playing at Brum’s student union next month!

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~ by Scary Rob on 11 September, 2006.

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