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   Saturday, May 14, 2005  
Pop the way it should be...

So, fish & chips on Brighton Pier in the full glow of the setting sun then a stroll down the shingly beach to the venue. Slippin' and crunchin' along, reallyrather soon notices four vaguely familiar dark blobs in the distance. Getting closer, one of them cradles an acoustic guitar; all of them stare out to sea as a photographer flits around. 'Tis The Magic Numbers, fledgling popstars in the wild. But the seaside hasn't been their natural habitat (tho' a certain West Coast breeziness blows through their sound); they've been a London-centred phenom these past 8 months or so. reallyrather was down partly to check out how they're doing amongst the curious who don't yet know the words to all the songs.
And the answer is, pretty damned fine really. They're still a smiley, no frills outfit happy to let the songs do the talking. Not much evidence of EMI moolah being wasted - the only upgrade this blog noticed from last time was Angela's melodica, no longer a toybox item but a proper musical instrument.. with roughly 20 more keys than she needs at present. And she still mostly just stands there, sometimes whipping her hand out of her pocket for the odd handclap. She has a very appealing voice which doesn't get quite enough exposure really (her efforts on I see you you see me had the girl in front dabbing her eyes).
Still, it's a team effort based around the melodies and harmonies of team leader Romeo's confident songwriting which hits the sweet spot time after time. Some numbers take longer to deliver the goods (the choice riffing at the end of The Mule and Hymn for her's surging refrain) but there's about six songs which start well and just don't let up. They mostly didn't know the words but Brighton duly succumbed to the love...
The Magic Numbers / Iseeyouyouseeme

[And they may have just played a sold-out show at The Forum but if you're superquick you can snag tickets for the rather more intimate/claustrophobic environs of the Camden Barfly on June 6]

The other draw for reallyrather that night was the chance to check out hometown heroines The Pipettes' new line-up. How would new girl Gwen shape up? V. nicely indeed is the answer. Wearing a scrap of polka-dot material which only just qualified as a dress, she's throwing herself in molto gusto and giving the lovely Rose some serious competition eyes-wise. They sounded bigger and better than ever and with newer songs like Tell me what you want, Rest your pretty head(?) and It's not love but it's still a feeling sounding so great they could afford to leave belters like Kitchensink in the locker...

Check the girls out for free in London on May 30 when they headline a ClubFandango night at The Borderline...
The Pipettes / Club Fandango

..and the band had also originally been slated to support The Go! Team at the Electric Ballroom last week but were outrageously elbowed off in favour of Swedish Zep-alikes Dungen. Bad move all round.. the Pips would've been way more appropriate sandwiched between their Brighton homies and openers - and reallyrather's R-R-Revelations of the Month - The Research. This boy-girl-girl combo from Wakefield scored a resounding hit with their infectiously scewed electro-pop. Lead singer and Casio-abuser-in-chief Russ - the Alan Davies of rock? - knocks out riffs from the keyboard on his lap while as-good-as-they-need-to-be Georgia (bass) and Sarah (drums) regularly pitch in for a full-on trio vocal attack. This blog caught half-dozen or so songs and they were pretty much uniformly glee-inducing. The debut album's expected later in the year and they're back in town May 27 at what's passes as this blog's local venue, The Windmill...
The Research / at the Electric Ballroom / chattin'

Fast-forward to last night: taking The Research's approach to it's almost absurd natural conclusion, it's toybox-meets-beatbox with the probably soon-to-be-slightly-legendary Kid Carpet. Reallyrather had dropped into Islington's Bar Academy initially to catch openers Komakino who turned out to be a quite promising but hardly mould-breaking indie guitar outfit complete with a full set of artfully-slashed-across-face haircuts. (The singer could be Brett Anderson's kid brother and songs like Run through this town(?) are solid enough to get them on Zane Lowe.) But it was raining outside so Kid Carpet got the benefit of the doubt. Bonus! Pushing a range of Fisher-Price toy guitars, Simon games and crap bootsale keyboards through to the outer limits of their creators' imaginings, KC kept a decent Monday night crowd pretty much in thrawl to his beefy rip-off beat samples and punky poetry. And something like Green and pleasant land could give this guy from Bristol an, er, even bigger profile than his recent singles chart peak of no.185 (with Your love). It's entertainingly rubbish, deceptively shambolic stuff and, frankly, not be missed...
Kid Carpet

And oh yes, The Go! Team were slightly surprisingly ace at the Electric Ballroom.. and Arcade Fire fairly tore down the Astoria...but sorry, reallyrather just hasn't the time to add more so here's The Observer's man from last Sunday who also saw them both and came to much the same conclusions..
   posted by SMc at 8:49 AM |