Friday, 27 January 2017

1,019 GET INUIT, Twin Wild, Mellor, Southampton Joiner’s Arms, Thursday 26th January 2017

Barely 9 months since I last crossed paths with Sittingbourne’s finest self-confessed purveyors of “dirty surf pop” music, Get Inuit, yet it seems longer… given that I missed their last UK jaunt last October on account of being out of the country, I was keen to renew acquaintances, and booked this Joiner’s gig up pretty smartish, one of a smattering of headline shows in advance of a larger February tour supporting Spring King – a tour I can’t get to, due to other gig clashes. Happy to get to this one then!

A freezing cold yet fairly clear run down to the South Coast saw me parking up a stone’s throw from the venue entrance at 8 – hooray for free street parking! The venue was already reasonably well attended, certainly a larger – and much younger and more female! – crowd than for the So So Glos, last month… Took a watching brief for openers Mellor, on just after my arrival. They kicked into some upbeat and catchy guitar-heavy pop, robust and rhythmically driving, with those good old fashioned and often overlooked virtues of strong hooks and tunefulness. “It’s a bit chilly, innit – let’s get warmed up!” announced young vocalist Gary before the push’n’shove modish rhythm of next single “Visitor”, Gary also enjoying his wordplay with, “looking forward to Get Inuit? Forget Inuit, we’re getting you into it…” (groan!) “Fire On Fire” recalled the Candyskins or even early U2 or Ash in its’ wide-eyed optimistic indie pop and featured a well-observed pregnant pause (I like those), but closer “I Don’t Know Where I’m Sleeping Tonight”, a whip-crack fast B movie sci-fi soundtrack thrill-ride recalling early Scars, was the highlight of this bright set. A couple of bum notes and missed vocal lines, sure, but here’s a band with some talent and potential.

Main support Twin Wild were up next, as I popped out briefly beforehand to check the motor, but their set was late-starting, initially technically besieged, and when they got going, their scuzzy proto glam/ blues sound was reasonable but poor fayre after Mellor.  The leathered-up and bequiffed young vocalist was an imposing presence, reminding me of The Blow Monkeys’ Dr. Robert (remember him??), but I preferred my chat in the bar with Mellor vocalist Gary, a personable bloke and clearly a student of his indie rock, citing The Smiths as his all-time favourite band. Good man!

Took my front-centre spot after one last trip to the car to dump my hoodie; Buddy Holly-alike vocalist Jamie spotted and recognised me, which was cool, and broke off his set-up for a quick chat (“I thought you lived nearer to Bristol!”). In short order, however, Get Inuit were good to go – no technical difficulties for these boys! They smashed into opener and recent single “Teriyaki” with their usual bucketloads of vim, vigour and enthusiasm, inciting the same from a young moshpit – and this old dodgy-kneed bloke too! Jamie was his usual kinetic stage presence, throwing shapes, high knees and rawk moves, as the 60’s doo-wop surf pop of “My Oh My” and the slower, growlier but still splendidly harmonic newie “Tread The Water” set the scene for a brilliant, amphetamine double whammy of “Mean Heart” (featuring some rabble-rousing primal screaming from the slightly built vocalist – where’s that coming from?) and the frantic “Cutie Pie”.

“It’ OK to slow down once in a while,” Jamie remarked as he introduced a more considered newie “Heavy Thoughts”... A word on the smattering of new numbers here – despite sounding more proficient, dare I even say mature, them apples didn’t fall too far from the tree, underlining Get Inuit are exploring their sound and realising their own potential very nicely indeed thank you. “Barbiturates” (“a bugger to sing,” apparently!) was a grungy trampoline marathon with the second pregnant pause of the night – this one maybe milked a little by Jamie! – and the dynamic closer “Pro Procrastinator” sent the kids off to their beds with one last mosh and a mini-stage invasion, after another jet-propelled and all-too-short set of spiky, spunky powerpop thrills.

Hung about afterwards, enjoying a particularly long chat with bassist Ollie and greetings from the rest of this gregarious young band, before a quick pic and a Lauda-esque run back up the chilly A34/M4 beat route home. Chilly tonight, but Get Inuit brought the sound of Summer once again!

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