"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, 27 May 2010

Everything Is Nice

Yesterday morning I got a text from my friend Rowena recommending a gig at The Mothers Ruin that same night. Well it’s a been a few weeks since I’ve been to a gig, I haven’t seen Row in a while and frankly I don’t leave the house enough these days, so that evening after a rather fine mid-week roast lamb dinner cooked by yours truly, I left the cocoon and headed towards Ruin, so to speak.
The Mothers Ruin is only a small venue but I’ve seen some really good gigs there previously including Demon’s Claws and The Lovely Eggs. The band that Row recommended to me was Schnauser who I hadn’t seen play live before but I knew them from when I was on the radio. I liked what they had sent me then a lot and played a few tracks on the show and I'd wanted to see them live for some time. Here are Schnauser in moody black and white, there’s John on drums, Alan on his recently purchased 12 string electric guitar and Holly on bass.
They did a good set and lived up to the promise of the demo CD. Bristol gig going legend Big Jeff was in attendance, of course, and he nailed it as ever when he described Schnauser as sounding like a mix of Super Fury Animals and Ben Folds with a touch of Pavement. Big Jeff is very good at pointing out the bands that other bands resemble, mostly because is knows so many bands and has seen a lot of them play live. And of course he danced all the way through their set. Big Jeff will dance to anything. I’ve seen him at a lot of gigs; he’s always at the front and he always dances. Here he is at last night’s gig with Rowena snapping away at Schnauser.
Big Jeff’s fame has spread beyond Bristol and he now enjoys a nationwide reputation with a lot of visiting bands getting to know him from his pole position in the mosh pit and his idiosyncratic dancing style. By itself this may not get him noticed but he’s at least 6 feet tall with a mane of curly blond hair and one of those faces that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sergio Leone Western. If they were ever to erect a statue of Blackbeard in Bristol, and I think they should, then Big Jeff would be the ideal model for this city’s most infamous son. He may look slightly scary but he's a sweet guy and he really knows his music. He's pretty good performing music too, I shall never forget his solo Manic F performance, quite brilliant and very impressive. Jeff has also appeared in an episode of "Skins", performed on stage with Kid Carpet at a number of gigs and festivals, featured in Venue Magazine's top 100 Bristol people, and if you Google "Big Jeff Bristol" he crops up on Google Images.
After the gig I chatted with Big Jeff, Row and Schnauser and ended up giving a lift home to most of them. So a good night out, a top band enjoyed, I caught up with Rowena and Big Jeff and it got me out of the house. As Marc Riley would say, job’s a good ‘un.

Suggested listening: "Kittyhawk" by Santa Dog.

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