Thursday, 9 September 2010

365 SPACEHOG, Cuckoo, Seven Stone Jesus, Bristol Fleece, Thursday 29 January 1998

I was persuaded to check out the 'Hog, thanks to them being old mates of Gigolo Aunts buddy Phil Hurley, despite them originally hailing from Leeds (big in America, apparently, don't'cha know). So I drove down a crowded motorway on a freezing cold night, taking 1 1/2 hours to get to the Fleece thanks to the traffic. D'oh! The Fleece was back onto a late schedule though, so I had time for a brief chat with 'Hog guitarist Rich about Phil, before first band Seven Stone Jesus came on at 9.15, playing a plodding yet intriguing set of fuzz-laden guitar pop, which I wasn't sure what to make of.

Bumped into an old school friend before Cuckoo came on at 10. They were a considerably better proposition; a bright, fresh and very Irish (Oirish!) band, they sounded like a poppier Hitchers or Joyrider, which the made-up (in more ways than one!) guitarist took as a compliment when I spoke to him after their fine set.

Said "hey" to Lou, Spacehog manager, friend of Phil and also a Seattle man, before the 'Hog burst on at 11.15, following a very finicky soundcheck and set-up from their roadies! They were splendid "live"; brash and "in your face", their beefed up glam pop (circa Mott The Hoople, early Bowie, etc.) translated considerably better to the live environment than on record, where they can be disappointing. An urgent "Space Is The Place" was the obvious highlight, but other tracks also shone as the 'Hog gave it some stick. Well worth seeing after all, despite the lateness - and the pea-souper fog coming home (which meant a 1.45 home time - for a Bristol gig. Ouch!).

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