Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hi-fi Club, Leeds Monday February 16th - Five Star Review

I'll cut to the chase. This review is totally biassed. My brother is Joe Tatton, someone whose modesty precludes him from blowing his own trumpet (he used to play the cornet in Hollinsclough Siliver Band). Needless to say I think he's one of the most talented musicians I will ever meet. I've known him since he was born and for purely unselfish reasons would sorely like to see his music career take off, big time. He does just about manage to make a living from being a full-time musician, but I have got nice images of relaxation in an in-door pool somewhere in Scarborough paid for from the proceeds of some Number One or whatever you call commercially successful music these days. It is frustrating when you see people who are less talented, less experienced and not as nice rake in the cash. Anyway, Joe's latest jaunt is off with his girlfriend into popular soul paradise. They've got a new album and a new band Rodina so-named after the Russian word for mother-land, already with their eye on the Eastern market. They are doing very well indeed in Turkey. They are doing pretty well here.

Firstly the band. I love Aoife, almost as much as Joe. Twenty-something mega-babe fronting the band, singing in a sweet, hypnotic and entrancing style that celebrates her celtic roots. Jonny is on rthym guitar and he plays in an acoustic styly and Danny on a beat-box. Joe the bro is on keyboard and sorts out the bass with some magnificent piano solos. Aoife does her own styling and I think she's a trendsetter for us cutesey individualists. Colourful, playful and mesmerising.

What I really like is that the foursome stand in a row on stage, all equal, all enjoying themselves. Seasoned performers, musicians and artists of the highest calibre. There is a jovial camaraderie amongst the band, everyone self-deprecating and joking around and I think this relaxed openmindedness stands out amongst other bands. It's uplifting to experience.

Rodina opened the night at about 8.30, first act on, which they were pleased with because everyone goes home later on. At one point I was in charge of the CDs and gave one to someone who said he was manager of Nightmares on Wax. He was a nice guy. I was also in charge of the flyers and started handing them out. What I found was most effective was getting into a dialogue with people about the band. I would say 'They're a mixture of Jools Holland, Corrine Bailey Rae and the Buena Vista Social Club'. People would get curious and start reading the flyer.

Finally Rodina's music. They always start with 'Always had a Dream'. With an extremely catchy line 'You don't believe, you don't believe'. Singing it all day after the gig. My favourite is 'You Cry I Cry'. It's perhaps one of the their darkest songs. I love the change of tempo. Brilliant all round.

The second band I didn't like I'm afraid. It can only be described as 'posh folk'. That's the music and the people attending. They were called 'Feldspar' and me and Dave the Rave had a little competition just before they came on about what sort of genre they were. He said Pink Floyd. I based my guess on the clothes they were wearing (beige slacks, v neck jumpers and ironed cotton shirts). I was right. Posh Folk. They had their mothers with them, which I don't object to under normal circumstances. But whilst MY family were playing these posh folk were making an absolute racket 'Oh darrrling..' as they all turned up, throwing their arms round each other, right in front of the stage. And yet when they started they told the crowd to Shush. Just not the done thing sweeties.

Now the third band I adored. Sal Paradise. These guys are going places. They haven't given me any money, I'm not at all related to them and I don't know their first names, but by God I think they're good. I had a good feeling about them because they were tapping their feet to Rodina , so I knew they had taste. I would have preferred it if one of them was a girl, but you can't have everything in one band. These guys were like the grandsons of Men at Work, UB40 and the Beach Boys, and the sons of Supergrass. It was reggae-rock. They were a tight outfit, but I don't know whether this was because I had my eye on the drummer all the time. I must admit you get to a certain age and suddenly drummers seem young, muscular and attractive. Is too much oestrogen a good thing I was wondering as I was watching the young women huddling round at the front trying to get a glimpse of more muscle and leg. But the eye candy didn't put me off too much and I thought their songs were great, tuneful, powerful numbers, perfect for the summer.

The fourth band- Meryl Jane. Well by this point husband had arrived. He liked them. He likes Razorlight. I just didn't find the tunes that catchy.

And the fifth band - The tales, the tales. I didn't give this lot justice and plan to return to their April gig. What was quite funny was that at the start of the night I said to one of them when giving them a Rodina flyer 'What sort of music are you?' And he said 'Amazing'. Having listened to them on myspace for awhile I think they need to concentrate on playing at the same speed.


Anonymous said...

Great review. Couldn't you get it published somewhere?

Anonymous said...

No, because it's hilariously uninformed and misses points all over the place