Thursday, 3 June 2010

466 SENOR HAPPY, Feedback, Bills Bar, Boston, MA USA, Thursday 19 October 2000

Each time so far I've been in Boston, The Happy have had a gig scheduled! This trip is no exception, as Rachel and I hit Bills Bar at 10ish after The Pedro The Lion gig earlier, running into incredulous Happy boys Tom Polce and Joe McMahon for greetings and chat. We stop to pay attention to support Feedback, who play some good shiny US pop rock, slightly derivative but fun nevertheless, recalling such as The Knack, apart from the final number which shamelessly appropriates the chorus riff from Nick Lowe's "Cruel To Be Kind"! The DJ makes a note of this too, by playing the "original" immediately after their set. By this time James Horrigan has joined us, and following the usual greetings we launch into a critique of plagiarism in music! Typical James!

Senor Happy take the stage (amazingly, this is the first time I've seen them on a stage, the other 2 occasions being at the Lizard Lounge) at 11. I never tire of mentioning that "live" The Happy are a seriously tougher proposition than their slightly understated, almost countrified bedsit angsty pop is on record. Tonight they once again prove themselves to be tough boys in a "live" environment, with a clutch of new numbers - some even new since May - sounding completely and thoroughly sorted. With Josh Lattanzi out of town (this time with Nina Gordon's band), lead guitarist chores are taken by Bill Guerra, James' new room-mate and a former Expanding Man. His presence toughens up the sound notably, with "Soon" sounding almost punky as the superb Tom Polce brings the bombastic drumbeats very effectively.

An ace newie, "Get Up And Go Out", brings the set to a fine close, and it suddenly hits me just how tired I am. James has already cleared off at set end, so Rachel and I follow his lead, pausing only to chat briefly with EdV's ex room-mate Toirm (a Bills Bar regular, it seems), ex Sterling Pat Emswiler and Brett Rosenberg, who turns out to be a band-mate of Geoff Van Duyne from last night's Evan Dando gig. Exactly how bloody incestuous is this Boston rock scene??!!

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