Another gig during this week off work for Rachel and myself, and it's first time back at ULU for me for over a decade! So, not surprisingly, after a swift drive/ tube over to Euston Square, I forgot how to get to the bloody venue! Luckily a couple of fellow punters with an internet map were wandering down Gower Street, so we followed them! Inside, an obviously renovated ULU was a surprise - entrances where I remembered bars, bars where I remembered outside balconies, and walkthroughs to the school hall-like venue where I remembered walls! Another, considerably more pleasant surprise was that the excellent Mary Lorson, she of Madder Rose/ Saint Low fame, was first support, due on at 8!
Wandered in to see Mary with Tim, leaving Mark and Rachel at the bar, and they totally failed to find us! Still, Mary's half-dozen or so songs were dark, brooding little animals, given spooky and sinister life by Mary's deliciously smoky vocal inflections and some low-key keyboard embellishment. Mary was joined onstage by Tanya for one number, Ms. D providing more feminine backing vocals to counterpoint the lusty Lorson larynx (!) very well. One final number, more upbeat in tempo and mood, rounded off an unexpected delight!
Expected support band, Oxford's Goldrush, were up next, but were no better than passable, with a countrified lilt recalling the Gin Blossom's duller moments, so Rach and I largely ignored them!
Wandered down the front for Tanya's arrival at 10ish. Ms. D treating us to a solo rendition of Belly's curious "The Bees" before being joined onstage by her band, including hubby Dean Fisher (ex Juliana Hatfield 3) and former Throwing Muses drummer David Narcizo, with Mary Lorson joining them midway through the set. With all that talent on offer, this one should have been a corker. However, it was largely forgettable, drawing mainly from disappointing wallpaper-music new CD "Beautysleep", with Tanya's sparkling vocals sadly wasted on this insipid material. A terribly ham-fisted version of Belly's classic "Slow Dog" summed up a frustrating night. Thank Mary Lorson for being the highlight of this evening!