Saturday, 30 January 2010

612 SILVER SUN, Marie Willson, Cracatilla, London Camden Barfly, Monday 20 October 2003

Yes, that does say Silver Sun! Rachel checked the Way Ahead ticket website which revealed a comeback gig from the late 90's faves, so we decided to break our self-imposed London exile and get tickets! Left at 5ish, and despite the new M4 speed monitoring system we parked on Camden High Street just before 7.45 and hit the venue early doors.

Popped upstairs for this busy early doors gig (another sell-out!) and walked in halfway through Cracatilla's set. A young Scouse trio with a charismatic black vocalist, they "kept it real" with some punchy strum-along pop tunes, the first of which recalled the psychedelic sweeps and swirls of early Love. A good level of potential here, well received by the audience. More so than could be said for the inappropriate Marie Willson, a scantily clad blonde Christina/Britney wannabee playing a clumsy rehash of commercialised punky pop, with more than a little r'n'b thrown in, and with the fake sincerity of an Avril Lavigne. Manufactured to the eyeballs, she'll probably be huge, although with her 2 stock moves (arm straight ahead, ruffling hair) she reminded me of the appalling Transvision Vamp's equally appalling (and equally fake) Wendy James.

Silver Sun came to rescue us from this, however; on at 10 like they'd never been away, and straight into "Golden Skin" to the huge delight of this enthusiastic crowd. Initially, they were raw and ragged musically, but the harmonies, led by the original helium voiced popster James Broad (Justin Hawkins, listen and learn), were as impeccable as ever. Raunchier new numbers sat well with the summery pop oldies, proving that thankfully their return promises more of the same, guv! "Pipsqueak" was great, as they warmed to their task as the set progressed, Buddy Holly lookalike James, increasingly sweaty, expressing the thoughts of the band by saying, "I've missed this - you guys are fantastic!" Great to have you back, boys!

A couple of encores later, we hit the road after a welcome, if ragged, comeback show from a much-missed band. Tonight we partied like it was 1997!

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