Friday, February 09, 2007

The Smell of Smoke

Apart from the audience and the band what makes a good gig? Well most people would say the atmosphere, the smell of years of sweat, spilt beer and the smoke.

I disagree. After seeing two bands, in two days, this is my second night of sitting in the office stinking of cigarettes. As a nonsmoker it isn’t the greatest of smells.*

So I can’t wait for the smoking ban to begin on July 1st. In my opinion it won’t make gigs any worse and we’ll only be taking home memories of songs and not morsels of smog.

Rant over. Two bands from this region in two nights. It’s not a record (and that’s not a pun) but having heard their music on the Original Showcase I thought it was time to hear them in the flesh.

On Wednesday night I was at The Brook in Southampton to see Recreation support The Bluetones. On Thursday it was the same city to see Birdpen (above) at The Joiners.

Both bands have the potential to make it and I can see Recreation being at success in this country while Birdpen have a sound which will make them a hit in Europe.

If you were to ask which of the two groups would succeed first then I would have to say Birdpen.

Recreation have a great summer sound and are likely to appeal to the thinking public but they are in transition and have to find a new guitarist which always takes a few months to sort out.

While Birdpen have the advantage of their frontman, Dave ‘Pen’. He is also in a group called Archive who recently sold out the 6000 capacity Zenith in Paris. It must be strange to go from that to 100 people at The Joiners.

But he didn’t see too phased and the conversation we had after the show was punctuated with punters telling him how good the gig was. A sure sign of success.

They both gave me some new recordings and we’ll be playing them over the next couple of weeks on Sunday’s Original Showcase.

*As a former smoker I do appreciate the irony.

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