Thursday, 4 March 2010

564 Caged Heat, THE CHARMS, 608, Somerville MA USA, Thursday 27 June 2002

Back from NYC to Boston today, then we settle back in time to head over for tonight's gig. Having heard conflicting reports about the location of 608, the club formerly known as Lilli's ("it's right by the T station"/ "you'll have to catch a cab from Porter"), we set off early to discover the truth, as ever, is somewhere in between, and it's just over a 10 minute walk from Porter "T"! So, having left in good time, it's still early when we arrive, and we pop next door for a surprisingly good pizza from a ropey looking cafe. Back to the venue at 9.15 to find no promised guest-list spots, so we pay, get in and are then accosted by "The Peach", Pete Stone, Boston friend and former Sterlings/ current Charms bassist. He'd apparently forgotten we were coming along, despite the jokingly abusive message he'd left for me on his band's website guest book. He's effusive about the Charms, saying, "we're really tight right now; you'll love us," and, "we're like Cheap Trick with a female vocalist." As ever, plenty of time to talk but less to listen; typical Peach, and we wouldn't have him any other way.

The Charm offensive starts at 9.30, with ourselves and a few hardy punters witness to a set which never threatens to live up to the Peach's hype, starting off with the NYC suss of 1st album Blondie, then playing a harder-rocking type of pre-hair band 70's US rock influenced pop, which was intriguing and innocuous in equal measure. The painfully young guitarist can certainly play, and well, and the Peach throws himself around with the zest of someone 10 years younger, but the vocalist is currently image over substance and needs to think about walking the walk before talking the talk. I like them fine, but no more, and must confess to a little annoyance when I get a song dedicated to, "David Rose, who's come all the way from England to see The Charms." A real exaggeration, although as I remark to her afterwards, it is true Rachel and I came all the way from our digs in Coolidge Corner to see them!

We hang around awhile afterwards, snatching another quick word with the Peach before he flits off again, then we check out the unimpressive Caged Heat, who come across like a PJ Harvey tribute band - even starting off with one of her numbers! - before checking out altogether, and getting the "T" back to our digs.

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