Friday, 13 November 2009

748 THE YOUNG REPUBLIC, Turner Cody, The Shudders, Swindon Riff's Bar, Tuesday 3 June 2008

Amazingly, this was my first ever gig at Swindon's alleged "best venue", a rock pub in the middle of nowhere, a couple of miles out of town. Tim and Danny's improving band The Shudders were the main persuader, but Tim was also raving about the headliners, Nashville's The Young Republic. So why not?

Left after putting Logan to bed, and got to the venue at the end of The Shudders' soundcheck, Tim complaining about the unnecessarily long Turner Cody check. Socialised awhile before The Shudders came on at 9 to friends and family. Nevertheless, they're really coming along, and their jangle pop, now more reminiscent of 80's bands such as the Chesterfields, is becoming more familiar, upbeat and jolly. Vocalist Danny, despite still being low-key, is getting more confident each time out and benefitting from the experience of Tim, Alan and Liam's years of playing together. An enjoyable half-hour!

The reason for Brooklyn singer-songwriter Turner Cody's fiddly and overlong soundcheck became apparent - 3 Swindon fans had contacted him and offered to be his band for the night! So, duly christened "Mad Cow", they added a bar-room blues vibe to Cody's wordy, Dylanesque offerings. A couple of solo numbers and some painfully unfunny stories from this rambling and possibly pissed-up troubadour also featured, in an "interesting" set!

The Young Republic kicked off at 10.30 - a young 6 piece headed by intense Asian vocalist Julian Saponti, they started with some well-played 60's psychedelia/ alt-Country pop, a la Magic Numbers, bright, breezy and occasionally catchy. However, after a cover of Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere" they diverted into trad country, doo-wop and slow blues which was frankly dull. I was just going to write them off and go home, however they then hit the "loud" button and ended the set with some thrilling noisy rock, including a deliciously creepy version of Dylan's "Isis", young Julian strutting and gesticulating wildly, and putting heart and soul into his performance. A great end to an annoying, schizophrenic and variable set, a point I made to Julian afterwards, who said, "I can't keep that (rock) up all the time, I'm not Meat Loaf!" Fair point, I suppose...

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