Pickled Dick

Pickled Dick
Live (Splendid Eddie / Lost on Landing)

With a splitting headache to contend with, it was anybody’s guess as to whether I’d survive the first band, let alone the whole night. Nevertheless, I entrenched myself in one of the little cubby-holes at the back of the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth and prepared myself for the worst.

As it happens, things kick off quite well with the ska-imbued antics of Splendid Eddie. In terms of energy and enthusiasm, they certainly lacked nothing, but some messy moments let them down and the backing vocals towards the end of the set were so far removed from the lead vocal it was painful to listen to. Or it might just have been the headache. Either way, the backing vocal needed some help.

As the sound engineer polished up his solitaire skills (to be fair, his sound skills were spot-on all night), Lost on Landing prepared to take to the stage. A fairly strong start was blown to pieces by a really poor reaction to a technical problem, which meant enduring one of those ‘humorous’ cover-ups, including off the cuff comedy and random instrumental gloss-overs.

With all the instruments back on track, an EMO influenced set ensued with some great guitar work and a hard working vocal. A strange reference to Jack Fairbrother was slipped into the banter before the last, and best, song of their set – presumably referring to the lead guitarist of Not Advised rather than the ex-Newcastle goalkeeper.

Pickled Dick took to the stage and stole it from the venue for the duration of their set. Plenty of cracking songs, ultra-tight music and stunning vocals were the order of the day for a set grounded in pleasingly melodic short pop songs. Rarely does a band work so hard on stage, but despite the tremendous energy, there was an effortless grace to the Jhon’s hair-bouncing antics and Domb’s lung-wracking vocals.

Highlights of the set, and indeed the night, came from pop-punk anthems such as ‘Extra Terrestrial’, hijacked punk shanty’s such as ‘Ship Ahoy’, and three thirty-second tracks that had all the elements of much longer songs jammed inside. Pickled Dick could be their own breakfast cereal, pop-rock-and-roll fortified with punk revival and vocal harmonies. The name might put a few people off though!

Despite the uplifting effects of the Pickled Dick set, the head demanded a retreat and it was time to leave before the veins in my temple exploded. Well worth the pain though.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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