Friday, 8 January 2010

657 SILVER SUN, The Good Time Charlies, Invane, Jarvis Fields, Southampton Joiner's Arms, Wednesday 4 May 2005

Off again 2 days after the last gig, this time to Southampton Joiner's Arms, an easy to find venue in a not as far away as you'd think town. Surprised we've not been here more often! Took a wrong turning, but still found it OK, parking up down the road and hitting this rock'n'roll chic run-down pub back room venue at 8. Had a couple of ropey supports to endure - Jarvis Fields were a dull 5-piece Charlatans/ Oasis style trad rock band, with a crap drummer who nevertheless insisted on giving us a drum solo (!), and Invane were a bunch of clean-cut young lads who played early 70's Led Zep style blues rock, with one decent number "These Demons" which really showed up the rest of their material.

So we weren't expecting much when main support, the terribly-named Good Time Charlies, took the stage, especially as they looked like old lags who'd fought the pub rock wars a time or three. However, they were great! Bursting into a nice line in raw, garagy stones rock with a smile and a swagger, with a kinetic stage presence which belied their ages, they immediately recalled The Gentlemen, no less, in their attitude and musical rawness. When they introduced their third number thus; "this one's called "Big Gay Elvis"", I turned to Rachel and said, "they're my new favourite band!"

A 12 number set, some thrashingly short, flew by with a swagger and a grin, and they thoroughly deserved the shouts for a sadly undelivered encore.

Follow that, Silver Sun! But they did, taking the stage at 10.45, singer James Broad in a white jacket which increased his similarity to Buddy Holly, and playing a superb set of their soaring joyful frenetic powerpop, with the helium voiced 3-part harmonies a feature throughout. Based largely on new "comeback" album "Disappear Here", there were nevertheless enough oldies to keep the old boys like me happy. "Wonderful" was frantic, "Lava" (introduced by James as a time to face his primal fears) was a little slower than on record but nevertheless still jumpy and bursting with melody, and set closer "Golden Skin", again slower than on record, was a brilliantly harmonic end. I once described them as potentially the best British band since Echo And The Bunnymen, and although they're some way off that now, they're back playing joyful and happy Summery powerpop, which can only be a good thing. We hit the road after a quick chat with the GTC's bassist, looping around Southampton FC's ground on the way out and home for 1. Hooray for Silver Sun!

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