Wednesday, 19 January 2011

114 THE PARACHUTE MEN, Mega City Four, Mousefolk, Bridgwater Arts Centre, Saturday 17 December 1988

This legendary gig cemented The Parachute Men firmly in my affections as one of my all-time favourites, following up the Best Single and LP of 1988 (in fact, one of the best singles EVER with "If I Could Wear Your Jacket"), with the Best Gig of 1988! Having seen them play a superb set a couple of months ago, I'd brainwashed my friends as well, so a carload of us drove down to Bridgwater for the gig, getting in on the guest list - all 5 of us! Spoke with the immensely personable Parachute Men vocalist Fiona in the bar beforehand, also meeting the rest of the band.

Popped into the community hall type venue for openers Mousefolk who were messy but OK, much better than the appalling and incoherent Mega City Four, next up. Popped back into the bar during their set!

Took pics again during the Parachute Men's set, but still ended up getting totally sweaty chucking myself around with gay abandon to their effervescent, joyful, breathless and breathtaking performance. Soaring female fronted indie rock of the absolute top drawer, with tunes by turns heart-tugging and emotional (rendered even more so by Fiona's dark, husky voice), and exciting and uplifting (viz the aforementioned and utterly brilliant "Jacket", as refreshing as a cold shower in a heatwave; "Diamonds in a coalmine, nothing counts when we shine," indeed!), with just the right amount of underlying menace and a sinister "edge", this one left us all with whopping great grins. After a couple of encores ("My Flamingo" and the totally appropriate closer "Goodbye"), we thanked all concerned before setting off, The Parachute Men having confirmed their overwhelming success in my 1988 Music Polls!

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