Thursday, 4 November 2010

286 DRUGSTORE, Bear, Bristol Brewhouse, Saturday 18 February 1995

A prospective double header which became a single header, this one; we stumbled across the venue in the pissing rain, along Stokes Croft Road, opposite old haunt The Tropic (remember that??). It turned out to be a closet room in the back of a pub, and quite the tiniest venue I've ever been to! I announced to Clive and Beef that I was going to take a walk around the place, took 4 circular steps and was back where I started! Also, needless to say, it filled up quite quickly!

A big disappointment was that Boston's Velo Deluxe, mooted support for tonight, had pulled out; bummer! So instead we made do with Sheffield's Bear, an odd 3-piece who at their best were akin to a shoegazing Wedding Present (imagine that!), but at worst, which was most of the set, sounded unformed, unrehearsed and just plain rubbish.

Drugstore, on at 10, more than made up for it, however; Isabel, the diminutive bassist/ vocalist/ main inspiration, kicked off with a solo number, but when joined by the full band complement (both of them!) really soared! Their occasionally fragile paeans to lost love, hate and desolation, took on new shape and solidity "live". The packed Brewhouse responded accordingly, and the band played a blinder, feeding off the enthusiasm and lapping it up. A splendid set of dark, sensual little ballads, mingled with racy and rocking choruses, with my own favourite "Gravity" being a personal highlight. An encore of Pavement's "Cut Your Hair", and another couple of solo numbers from Isabel (including a brand new one which Isabel only did solo as the band haven't learnt it yet!) embellished the set, and rounded off a perfect night. A brief chat with the band afterwards revealed they enjoyed it as much as we did!

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