When we got in, there were a number of nice little tables with red jars and candles, very nice. A quick chat to the soundman about what time were the bands yielded the reply of ooh don't know, I should find out. So I settled down at a little table (result) and awaited the first band. Dust motes, a local band representing a nice nervous quiet chap sitting on a stool acoustic guitar in hand with no eye contact and apologetic banter between songs and a bass player who smiled a bit but stroked his bass in the most gentle manner I have ever seen. Pleasant banter between songs and not a bad little set, there is a place in the world for head phones and 'Nervous Rock' copyright 2012.
Planty arrived mid motes and ensured we shared a nice romantic table with more premium than cooking lager, and on came the next band, Stealing Sheep, three potentially students from Liverpool, central mouthier one playing stand up drums, flanked by guitarist and keyboards (who turned out to be from Lichfield but an honorary scouse). They then started sharing out the banter playing quirky songs with odd instruments thrown in. Lots of track from the forthcoming album were played, with the 3rd track on the set list the stand out, I think it was one word starting with an M when I spoke to the guitarist, but who knows.
There was an awkward moment when 2 young ladies decided to stand in front of the romantic table. I plucked up courage, tapped on the shoulder, mentioned the view and they moved, sadly in front of Planty, but a bit more staring into the backs of their necks and they took the hit and wandered off.
The 2 lasting memories were the hey nonny now electric song, and a finale using one of the best sounding instruments I have ever seen, which I believe the technical term is a 'brilliantly circly click click Wooden thing'
To the main event and on came Sea of Bees, who had been lingering in the audience and by the CDs for the first 2 bands shouting encouragement quirkily.
Song one, and on came Jules and support guitarist amber, this first song was pretty average and the singers pained face led this to feel like it would be a long night, but then on came a long haired guitarist and a geeky drummer, and the sound was filled out. It's hard to Pigeon hole the sound to a genre, with quirky little noises picking out of the end of the songs. A bit of country coming out too, a bit of California, just ace.
The blokes turned out to have been picked up post flight to the UK in Kent, and a jet lagged 13 hour practice session.
SOB then filled the stage and the songs, each being previewed by a discussion about where the inspiration from the song came from, from a weirdly distracted mind and lots of 'you know's when if I'm honest all the audience probably didn't.
Lots of songs with one word titles, and a cover of 'leaving on a jet plane' which was flagged I think of the song of her life story, based on looking jealously on her brothers happiness in his relationship. Amber was also a real star of the show too, great banter including various small animal noises,
Huge warmth to SOB came back from the audience, and not a small amount from the fact that the was a heartfelt joy of having returned to Brum where they have enjoyed a couple of gigs previously, and 2 sets of friends in the audience for the Californians.
It was also a great touch that SOB were selling a hand made live CD, screen printed cover, which having listened to on the way home ally captured the feel, particular a slight banter before the first song, the stand out Gnomes.
All topped off with a McDonalds with voucher on way home.