Thursday, 21 October 2010

315, FRANK BLACK, THE WANNADIES, Bristol University Anson Rooms, Wednesday 7 February 1996

"Neither snow nor rain, nor gloom of light..." a happy carload set off early to account for all the snow, and also because we didn't want to miss any of this potentially explosive double-header!

We arrived at 8, 15 minutes before The Wannadies took the stage to a pitifully sparsely-attended hall. Nevertheless, they took this as a challenge to win us all over, and stormed through a sensational pure pop set. Loud guitars, huge choruses, hooks to land whales with; this band of Scandinavian moppets are developing into really something special, and tonight they took full flight. A brilliant set, superbly sounding, played with passion and fire. The only problem was that, inevitable as a support act, the set was too short at only 1/2 hour, but then for me they could have played for a month, and on this form that'd still be too short!

Frank Black however didn't have such problems; as his set was being recorded for future CD extra tracks ("B" sides, we used to call 'em), it clocked in overall at 1 1/2 hours and 27 songs - including encores! Former Pixies main-man Frank, a striking figure of immense girth, gave it loads in a splendid sleazy rock fest, 15 minutes or so of which Rich and I missed, as we were talking to Wannadies vocalist Par in the bar, and getting set-lists signed! Still, Frank's set was well rocking, powerful and gutsy, and Frank himself is a genuine guy. I'm afraid tonight The Wannadies pipped him, though. But this was as brilliant a double-header as anticipated; Gig Of the Year? Is it too early to say that?

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