Live (Chin Music / Fortunate Son / Nigel Clark)
Chin Music drew a respectable crowd and chose a high-speed exciting song, reminiscent of My Chemical Romance, to open with. The subsequent ‘Silence Is Everything’ alternated melodic and angry guitars and demonstrated that, although the band are capable of producing complex, layered songs, the singer’s voice doesn’t quite match the band’s sound. He seems to be much more at home with the mellower vocals of songs such as ‘Sing Like You Know The Words’.
This catchy number was most like a potential future single – it had a lot of depth and a marvellous riff and the vocals were significantly enhanced with the bass player’s backing singing.
Chin Music’s set was well-rehearsed; it takes a lot of practice to achieve so many tempo changes within a single song, but they still have a little way to go to pull off the complete ‘look and feel’ of a sexy band.
Second band up, Fortunate Son, were as captivating as ever and proved that even silly people who wear scarves indoors should be given a chance to shine. The lead guitarist is an absolute genius and took as many opportunities to show off as he could squeeze in. Between the dazzling guitar solos and the singer’s Jagger-esque dancing and ‘yeowling’, it really was difficult to tear your eyes away.
In keeping with the seductive vibe that the singer’s thrusting and Gyrating evoked, the first song began slow and lazy then got faster and more energetic. The band kept with their usual bluesy style and played a crowd-pleasing number of toe tappers including the barn dancey ‘Chocolate’ with its articulate lyrics, ‘Window Love’ with its country chorus and trademark maracas, and the soul-influenced ‘Do you Think It’s Fair?’.
Fortunate Son’s lead singer has all the classic hallmarks of a top breed. There’s no doubt that the band hand picked him from an exclusive range at ‘Frontmen R Us’. His voice is strong, of that there’s no doubt, but it can get a bit too samey. Keeping with one harsh sound – think Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ – must surely start to hurt his voice after a while?
As you may have guessed, my only criticism is that there’s no variation at all, with his voice never showing any vulnerability.
After ten long years, one third of Dodgy were back! Welcome Nigel Clark and his four new band members; some of whom look young enough to have missed out on the golden era of 90s indie music altogether.
Clark was clearly pleased to be back on the circuit and joked and bantered with the audience, who enjoyed the set as they patiently waited to hear ‘Staying Out For The Summer’ – wisely the only old song they did.
Immediately it was apparent that the summery, happy tunes with the melodic vocals and harmonies are still alive; you could almost set your watch by them. But there’s a grittier edge that shows Clark’s moved on from the 90s and grown with his audience.
Songs like ‘You Don’t Need A Reason’ and ‘Nothing’s Free Anymore’ had the familiar song format with the uplifting bridge and chorus, and were reassuringly lyric-based. Also tracks like ‘Still Hurting Now’ had the familiar lyrical content that we all know and love, but strayed into an almost ethereal Portishead-like intro with a groovy breakdown section in the middle.
The songs of Nigel Clark’s – as yet unnamed – new band are more funky and layered than Dodgy and the comforting harmonies behind Clark’s feel good vocals are punctuated with a host of unpredictable extras. It was nice to have him back.
With just a tumbleweed whistling through the bar area, the back room swelled with people gathered to see The Warm. Confidently they opened with ‘When You’re Lost and Awake I Will Be There’ and then went straight into ‘Is This How You Like It?’ a more American-sounding melodic number (think Matchbox Twenty and Bush).
‘Coming Home’ was a slower love song with a great acoustic ending that gave the lead singer a chance to flaunt his distinctive voice and excellent range by expertly slipping in high notes in all the right places. Such an outstanding voice cannot fail to evoke emotion. With the amount of effort this man put in, he’s forgiven for the huge sweatband he was sporting, because he actually used it to mop up (a lot of) genuine sweat.
The band successfully attempted joint vocals in ‘You’re Not Alone’ and ‘Nothing Left To Say’ and went even more ambitious in ‘See The Sun’ This proved the band aren’t afraid to experiment, which hopefully means they’ll never become stale.
‘On Your Own’ was a new, infectious song that promptly won over admirers as grown men in the audience began involuntarily playing air guitar! In songs like ‘Back To Me’ the supersonic drummer enthusiastically pulled off complicated combinations whilst providing backing vocals. However, The Warm are also capable of pulling off extremely energetic and well-crafted instrumentals that keep the set well-paced, as tonight proved.
Towards the end there were a few slower songs that worked well. With lyrics about growing old and opening doors with your heart, the Warm wouldn’t be out of place on The O.C. soundtrack. This last love song was one of the catchiest numbers and the whole band gave it 100 per cent.
After some sincere ‘thank you’s’ and to the sound of a lot of cheering, The Warm finished with a big ending that should secure their place headlining at the Joiners for some time to come.