Tuesday, 31 August 2010
370 DRUGSTORE, Wireless, Cheltenham The Axiom, Thursday 26 March 1998
Well, after 370 gigs, here's a first - a first one in Cheltenham! Drove Dave and Ady and met up with Clive in the Axiom pub, then decanted at about 9.15 into the venue, which was the shed in the courtyard! This one brought back memories of the Windsor Old Trout, albeit on a smaller scale, but was quite atmospheric - especially when the dry ice got going!
Wireless, a new name on me but a fave of Clive's, got going at 9.30, and played a splendid spangly pop noise, reminiscent of C86 strumalong stuff, or even Rumblefish at first listen, albeit toughened up for the 90's. Despite injuring his groin moving amps the previous night (!), the vocalist was an enthusiastic and kinetic frontman, but had to cede to the chunky drummer, who grooved down and "gave it loads" especially during the last number. By this time, of course, I was a whirling dervish down the front along with Clive!
As for Drugstore; Isobel took the stage at 10.30 with her intro, "Say Hello", an introduction to all the junkies, prostitutes and lovers who don't get it right! She was then joined by the rest of the band - now a 4-piece, following the recruitment of a full-time cellist! - for a stunning set drawn primarily from the imminent new LP "White Magic For Lovers". Isobel was her usual enthusiastic and effervescent self - bantering with the audience and giving as good as she got in terms of sexual innuendo. "Nectarine" however was the highlight of the set for me, a bewitching blend of magic and madness. Also, following the planned encore, Isobel took the stage solo one last time, and played a freaky number rubbishing Glenn Hoddle and extolling her home country Brazil's World Cup chances! A spellbinding night, and well worth the late night and car-mare with Clive afterwards, as he found his NCP car park was locked up! D'oh!