My Nan died today. She slipped peacefully away in hospital following a couple of respiratory arrests, with my brother and myself present. We'd already had tickets for this gig tonight, and following a whole lot of soul-searching and debate, we decided to go ahead as planned. My Nan loved going out and partying, so we figured she'd have wanted it that way. So, as planned, Clive, Rachel and myself travelled down, picking up my brother in Bristol, then repairing to the pub next door to the venue for a toast to celebrate her life with port and lemon, her favourite drink!
Into the venue at 8.30 for first band on, the Young Offenders. Favourites of Clive, they however sounded to me like a standard, slightly lumpen, derivative of the current Placebo-influenced brash glam pop sound. A poor man's Slinkyhead, even! So we largely ignored their set.
My drummer brother was off hob-nobbing with Silver Sun drummer Richard Sayce, but we other 3 had assembled down the front in advance of the entrance of The Sun, somewhat early at 9.30. Now seriously indulging in new wave chic - black sleeveless skinny T's, studs and metal stars being the order of the day - The Sun have also produced a current LP, "Neo Wave", which has received a total mauling in the press for sounding like 70's US "New Wave" proto-pop acts such as The Knack and my personal favourites Cheap Trick. To me, though, that can only be a good thing, so I decided to head for the mosh, and, not finding one in this nevertheless crowded stage front centre, I decided to start one!
Vocalist James Broad has obviously been attending frontman lessons given by Julian Cope circa 1986, as tonight he was every inch the mesmerising focus; brash, arrogant and dare one even say sexy - certainly a far cry from the gawky Hank Marvinisms of earlier Silver Sun gigs. The band themselves were perhaps a tad less surf punk on helium, and slightly more colourful New Wave rawk riffery. Drawing heavily from said new LP, they put together a splendid spiky set. "Last Day" took on added poignancy given the day's events, and solicited a high five with my brother. The magnificent "Lava" and encore "Trickle Down" were also memorable for me, as I emerged, saturated, from the mosh. The hob-nobbing also worked, as my brother got Sayce's sticks, so a bloody great time was had by all. Just as my Nan would have wanted.