"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Last Night I Thought I Saw A Shooting Star

Last night I was back at the Louisiana for another top gig, just get this for a line up, first on The Transpersonals, followed by The Ouija Birds and top of the bill The Moles. Well, that’s three headliners as far as I’m concerned.

The comedian and local boy made good Justine Lee Collins is a fan of The Transpersonals and he’ll be sorry he’s not here at the Louisiana tonight as they are on top form. In the past the Trannies have put on some rather shambolic shows but don’t think that’s a criticism; a lot of tight as a gnats chuff bands can only wish they were as good as The Transpersonals on a shambolic night. Recently though they’ve got it much more together and when you add that to their now extended roster of superb songs, they really are a force to be reckoned with.
One of their newer songs “I’m Not A Seeker I’m A Founder” is an instant classic with its hypnotic mix of driving riffs, pulsating percussion, Indian sitar sounds and rhyme riding lyrics. I do have a problem with the lyrics and indeed the whole mystic, pseudo religious side of The Transpersonals. Lines like “science and religion are blending” from the otherwise excellent “You Gotta Horus – Outta Control” do rub me up the wrong way, science is pushing religion further away with every new discovery, but despite my anti-religious stance the fact is that I really like this band despite “where they’re coming from man” and am very happy to count myself amongst their fans.
It would be nice to hear more songs about what a load of old rubbish religion, mysticism and general supernatural belief is but when you consider that atheism is only a few of hundred years old compared to the thousands of years of illogical nonsense it has to battle against, the constant mind numbing propaganda there is for religion, and finally throw in some private experimental research undertaken by band members into the mind altering effects of certain chemicals, well it’s a wonder there aren’t more songs about the mystic than there are. OK, so I don’t believe in what they are singing about but there will always be a place in my universe for The Transpersonals.
I like to think that The Ouija Birds are destined for great things. They’ve got it all, they’re young and look great on stage; they sound great live and on disc; the songs are well crafted with depth and charm; they already have a very loyal fan base; and they have more and better hair than any other band I can think of and don’t kid yourself that hair isn’t important in music; Right Said Fred = bald; Take That = hair like your dad; Jimi Hendrix = a kick arse afro. I rest my case. There’s no afros in this band but they do have great hair in a Mighty Boosh kind of way. Hang on, I’ve got caught up talking about their hair. The Ouija Birds have a lot of really compelling songs and like The Transpersonals have an instant classic in “Warships”. I’ve not heard a Oujia Bird song I didn’t like but “Warships”, like the band that brought the song to life, is really something very special. It can only be a matter of time before this band are on the cover of the NME.
Already it’s been a fine night but now The Moles take to the stage. I’ve been chatting about art to Brin, the main Mole and as I arrived earlier I grabbed a word with bassist Billy who told me the band have finally got a record deal and that their album will be out in October on See Monkey Do Monkey Recordings, a fine independent label that also has The Keys on their roster. Beside me is my friend Richard Pitt from BBC Bristol Introducing and together we are transported to a weird world of psychotic waking nightmares, dead ginger tom cats, people turning into birds, night time strolls in the woods, and numerous other off kilter themes set to tunes that fell threw a wormhole in the space time continuum forever linking 1969 with the now.
The reverberated, distorted lyrics that emerge from the marvellously moustachioed Brin (this band also have great hair, including Brin’s tash) weave their way through the crowd into your brain like that thing in the film Donnie Darko that comes out of his stomach and snakes its way around the house. It’s psychedelic with an authentic 60’s feel but it’s fresh and new, sounding strange and familiar at one and the same time.
Their sumptuous songs have melodies that are immediate and charming with a warmth that wraps round your inner being, and all the while it rocks, boy does it rock. The Moles, for me the very name now invokes a strange parallel world of weirdness coupled with great, great songs.
So another excellent night of top quality underground, psyched out, life enhancing music at The Louisiana.
One final thought only tenuously connected to this gig. A recent full page article in Venue Magazine talked about how local radio still had something decent and different to offer the listener compared to the failings of national radio. Once again Bristol Introducing was highlighted as an example of good radio, just as Bristol Uncovered had been commended in the past when the failings of Star FM were being written about. Consistently praised and overlooked at the same time. Well done to my friend Richard and his colleagues Sam & Toby for continuing to fly the flag of good radio and good music for little or no reward while their day time counterparts fill the airwaves with pointless, tired speech and music that frankly was already old twenty five years ago. So well done Richard, keep up the good work.


  1. stop going enjoying yourself and paint some more pictures.

  2. ....yeah....and some t-shirts !