I got a bit of a shock when Clive pointed this one out to me, from the pages of the NME gig guide. Cordelia's Dad, playing in the UK? At last!
So, we bopped down to Bath's White Hart, a dilapidated pub back-room on the Twerton Road, with a clientele that made us all feel positively ancient. Sat in the equally run-down beer garden (hey, some call it, "character filled!") while dusk fell. We then had to put up with a couple of local supports; Edwiner, a bunch of student muppets playing an occasionally tolerable but overlong (40 minutes!) set of grungy funk, then Regicide, a dodgy-suited band with LA whisky bar Goth sleaze fixations, who nevertheless were a couple of bats short of a (Nick) Cave.
I'd been a fan of Cordelia's Dad since the early 90's, when Peej - who unfortunately couldn't make this gig - turned me on to their unique blend of traditional folk numbers played in an edgy and sinister, Pixies-ish rock style. Tonight was my first live experience of "The Dad", however, and hopes were high. Thankfully they didn't disappoint; the Massachusetts (just what is it with the Boston area and great bands, anyway? Is it something in the water?) 3-piece - guitarist/vocalist Tim, shaven headed, imposing presence, all army fatigues and mad, staring, haunting eyes; Cath, diminutive bassist, traveller chic and floppy fringe; and drummer Peter, short, chunky, bespectacled, quite "normal" in comparison to the very striking guitarists - kicked off the set proper, after an acapella introduction, with "Jersey City", a new number to my ears, with an almost Gigolo Aunts-ish chunky surf guitar riff.
A superb set of loud, dynamic rock ensued - are these really old folk songs? I joined the melee 4th number in, and immediately requested "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still", which Tim immediately kicked in to. There's service for you! I gave it loads to the rest of the set, which culminated in an excellent encore of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken", then had brief words with the band afterwards. Great set! Great gig!