Wednesday, 13 October 2010

335 THE LEMONHEADS, Cottonmouth, London Astoria, Thursday 3 October 1996

A slight landmark, given this was my first gig since owning Jack, a currently 8 week old Border Collie pup. So we set off at 5.30, agonising about leaving him on his own for the first time! Hit the Astoria at 7.30, only to find that eagerly-awaited (by me) support You Am I had a collective sore throat and couldn't play. D'oh! So instead we took a balcony seat and were entertained by Cottonmouth, on at 8.15. They played an entertaining set of driving, melodic and resonant rock, in a "cruising along the freeway with the radio belting out" kind of way. I also detected a slight Wonderstuff influence, maybe due to the singer's vocal inflections being similar to Miles. Incidentally, he took the stage wearing a huge and hastily discarded fur coat, one of the less advisable articles of stage-wear I've see in my gig going time.

The venue filled up rapidly during the enforced longish wait for The Lemonheads, and the sellout crowd was heaving as Evan and the boys took the stage at 9.30, 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. Nevertheless, a splendid hour's entertainment ensued; kicking off with a couple of groovy numbers from fine new CD "Car Button Cloth", the set really took flight with third number in, "It's A Shame About Ray". Evan was in fine fettle, and a new band, including Velo Deluxe mainman and all-round Boston axe hero John Strohm, did his cool, laid-back, melodic and heart-tugging strumalong rock proud. A brilliant "Rudderless" was the highlight of the set, much of which I enjoyed from an enthusiastic moshpit.

The encore was pretty damn hot socks too; Evan performing solo renditions of 4 faves, the best of which, "Big Gay Heart", was accompanied by a reverently hushed audience sing-along! "Into Your Arms" (before which I caught John Strohm's eye from the mosh, and he assured me, from the stage, that Velo Deluxe were, "still going" - good news!) and a bit of acapella mucking around by a now-exuberant Evan, brilliantly climaxed a superb evening's entertainment from a shining talent, and a band who never disappoint!

Oh yeh, and after KFC and a white knuckle ride home, Jack was in fine fettle too!

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