Wednesday, 20 October 2010

321 LETTERS TO CLEO, Jaguar, London Finsbury Park Powerhaus, Wednesday 1 May 1996

After missing them at the Water Rats during their last UK jaunt from Boston (a real rock hot-bed of brilliance throughout the years), I was on the lookout for more Letters To Cleo gigs on these shores. So after spotting a "live" ad in the NME for this one, I was well and truly up for it! Talked Clive into going (which didn't take much), and we got to the Powerhaus - located on the site of the old Sir George Robey, scene of my seminal Parachute Men gig (no. 106) back in 1988 - after crawling along Seven Sisters Road for positively ages, only to find on arrival that, thanks to some duff phone info gleaned earlier from the venue, we'd arrived over 1 1/2 hours before even the first band was due on! D'oh! The old place had changed a lot too, with pipes and steel bars all over the ceiling. How very modern!

Clive and I got chatting to an amiable Bostonian called Bill, a old mate of LTC vocalist Kay as it turned out, which was evident from the big hug she gave him when she arrived! I got to chat with LTC guitarist Michael, a splendidly affable and laid-back chap, before and after good psychedelic support Jaguar, about the state of Boston rock past and present, and also gave him a "Wilson" t-shirt I'd bought for Gigolo Aunts vocalist Dave Gibbs. Found out my good friend, fellow Aunt Phil Hurley, has left said band and was playing guitar for Tracy Bonham! Best look out for some gigs from her...

Another word here about Jaguar, actually, as they were really quite fine in a Five Thirty stylee; all swirly and upfront on the guitars. Good stuff!

Michael said LTC would play for an hour, and he was right on the nose. They certainly didn't disappoint with a brilliantly dynamic set of energetic and sparkling pop. Shades of Juliana Hatfield's college pop, Blondie's spunky new wave pop, and old Boston band The Cavedogs, all mixed into a simmering and bubbling hot-pot of pop noise which turned Clive and myself into mad dervishes, throwing ourselves around this spacious venue. I was as sweaty as I'd ever been without the aid of a moshpit, (my t-shirt sweat tidemark stretched down to below the "Calvin And Hobbes" design, causing me to christen said happenstance, now and forevermore, a "Full Cleo"!) and high on adrenalin for ages afterwards. Thanked Michael afterwards, after a quite, quite brilliant set from a(nother!) new Boston Rock find!

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