Venue: The Mean Fiddler
Location: 24 High Street Harlesden, London England NW10
Supporting the (woeful, do NOT believe your contributor) The Blue Aeroplanes at their Tenth Anniversary/Christmas celebrations, a JBC contingent played three tunes; two new ones, and one by trusty sidekick Curtis E. Johnson . One number, Scarlett , featured Gabriel Turner 's debut as JBC lead guitarist. As with every Aeroplanes gig, a jolly good rider was had by all.
Sitting here freezing in Oxford with a few moments to kill, and what better way that with a brief report of joy. Fleur, Jacqui, Kate, Gareth, and myself were at the Mean Fiddler for the The Blue Aeroplanes gigs, and here's what we saw. (Really belongs on an Aeroplanes list, but here anyway).
*Friday*, though billed as bop-art tenth anniversary with Pat Fish compere and archival blue video, wasn't like that at all. Paul Mulreany and Rodney Allen provided a Rickenbacker and acoustic support, but the set failed to gel. The Bop-Art line-up was a different affair. Initially slow, as Steve Bush declaimed his pinkies to a cool reception (neither Fish nor Gerard, thought the audience) but then forty minutes of spin cycle endurance. Highlight for me the Bop Version of Bury Your Love Like Treasure, off a later album, natch. Then the set itself. Arg! Had to go frug to this, Wojtek demands that you move. Incredible mix of Beatsongs and Life Model. New one Detective Snog kissable, but where's Angelo? Is there something I don't know? Of course.
But hey, you want to hear about *Saturday* and Pat. This was probably the best gig in the world, from where we were standing. Tim Keegan provided a short sweet set of three numbers, and won the hearts of all present. A keen JBC fanatic, he used to be in a band called Ringo, who did nowt, but with his good looks and his sharp lyrics, he *will* go far. Mulreany and Allen wheeled out the same set as last night, and again the only good bits were Rodney's Fun and their Beatles number, Driving Me Mad. But what do I know? It's a lot better than I could do. By the way, the girl behind me thought Mulreany was Paul Weller. Then oh my goodness! It's the Butcher. If only Dylan sightings were as rare and full of excitement. Three songs, all excellent, all well-received. The third was, I think, Cute Submarines . Radical. Too fucking short. More more more.
Then the Blue Aeroplanes set. Even better than last night, although someone extracted my wallet from my front jeans pocket. Yeah, I felt it, but too late to figure out who in the crowd had taken it. If you want to know how good the gig was, just think: this didn't spoil my evening. Made a mental note to cancel the cards, and threw myself back into it all. If you've never seen the Blue Aeroplanes, do so now! Before anything happens to them. And then see them again. Afterwards. Claim you always loved them. That much will be true. Take it off and deny it. Daughter Movie, Yr Own World, Detective Song, Colour Me, I'm A Smart Drug, Broken and Mended, Ghost-Nets, Jacket Hangs, and Vade Mecum Gunslinger. The first night ended with fifteen people on stage. Most of them with guitars. All but one plugged in. The second night was a leetle more chaotic, with Gerard gunning the works. This time, two guitarists ended up unplugged, but the remainder, including Pat, of course, left us senseless. And in my case, broke. But it was worth it. Well worth it. Worth anything.
Gig of the year, mate.