Tuesday, 9 November 2010
276 VENUS, Poker Alice, Swindon Monkey Club, Wednesday 12 October 1994
A free gig! I like this! So I popped down to the venue midway through the England-Romania game, watching the second half and playing pool with Clive while the crap cabaret support were on, cheered on by their mates.
I ran into Venus and former Sweet Jesus mainman Ben Bentley just before their set, and was a little disappointed when he informed me that they were planning an all-new set tonight, because of their new band line-up. I'd been feverishly playing their seductive debut album "Miss Paris" in preparation; d'oh! However, my disappointment was blown away by a committed performance; the new material, more bluesy/ rocky and "in your face" than "Miss Paris"' perfect shimmering pop, was, nevertheless, packed with great pop tunes. Ben, actually singing rather than breathlessly whispering as per his Sweet Jesus days, put on a splendid passionate frontman's performance to myself, Clive and six other semi-interested parties. Damn shame.
Great set; when I asked Ben afterwards, he said Venus are starting from scratch again, grass roots, bottom up. Well, judging by Swindon's lack of interest, it seems that from here on in, the only way is up!