Alternative music reviews

November 11, 2007

Sweat ‘n Shiver

Filed under: little fish — @ 12:53 am Comments (0)

Long day. Full of cold, dosed up on Lemsip and Penicillin (tooth problem). Had to sleep in the M40 services to make it back to Oxford.

I got back and found my copy of The Go-Betweens That Striped Sunlight Sound had arrived. Probably the most wonderful gift I could ever give myself. Robert Forster and Grant McClellan playing the Go-Betweens history on acoustic guitars, talking about the songs and the time they were written. Plus there footage from a live concert where they play Karen – that song is still, for me, the finest moment in the history of pop music.

Then it was down to The Cellar in Oxford and Little Fish playing their ‘Rock’ set. I think I have figured out Little Fish. They are not a band who have ever followed the nuances of the Indie scene. They have the influences of classic 1970s blues and rock – but never, ever come close to copyists. Hearing this harder set made it clear that someone has soaked up the guitar riffs of Cream and added the spirit of Patti Smith without sounding anything like either. Perhaps if heavy metal had never been invented then this is the way that Rock would have developed. There are even moments that take me back to the catchiness of Glam like Mud and Sweet but instead of building a career on it, they form just a small part of a song. Hearing Sweat ‘n Shiver played loud and heavy in a great atmosphere was a revelation and so much more powerful than the demo version. I have hinted at ‘performance’ before. By this I mean the ability to hold the fascination of everyone in the crowd. I remember U2 in the half-full back room of the General Wolfe in Coventry when they were promoting their first single 11 o’Clock Tick Tock. U2 turned out not to be my favourite band of all time but even I knew I was in the presence of something special. The energy and passion that Bono exhibited in that small room was stunning. JuJu of Little Fish more than equals it.

It’s been emotional.

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