Poppy & the Jezebels: Hare and Hounds Gig 27: 23 May 2012
A bout of sickness at home was over and Mr P had his pass to leave the premises at night, a bit of a bonus meant that from a work trip to Scotland was cancelled and I was able to attend the cheapest gig of the year so far, a mere £3, less money than the pint of Coors that I would be buying later that night. So having got my boy off to sleep with tales of the Magic Roundabout and Yellow Submarine I was off to the Hare and Hounds in the blistering heat of the Summer (better than the winter last week).
Getting into the gig, I was pleased to see the Hare and Hounds had kept to their approach of not hitting the show times at all, mainly as the stories took a little to long and this meant I didn't miss any of the Carpels, a band who are one of the hottest things to come out of Birmingham at the moment and per this interview Here graduated earlier in the day. As an aside it was hot in the venue, but it still raised a few eyebrows when a scantily clad Jezebel was wandering round the place.
I'm not much of a critic, but 3 guitars bass and drums, lead vocalist swapping with keyboards, looked promising but for me the first couple of songs we a bit lacking with, in particular, the backing vocalist trying a bit too hard and ending up like he was singing a different song over the top of the band. But they then settled down a bit and the song with 'You said she loved me' really progressed with the lead singer getting really expressive.
They did fess up to not having done this for a while, which may have explained the ring rustiness, and they introduced the new bassist, who really was pleased as punch to be there. Who did they sound like, well there was a reasonable chunk of Editors hidden in there (no bad thing) with a front man with the expressive dancing that reminded me of Elvis Costello.
Getting to the end of the show and Handshakes showed what the hypes focussed on. Thumbs up.
Then a half an hour when I wandered over to the merchandise stall and was pounced on by a nice bequiffed bloke who was at pains to stress that this wasn't his record label (plenty of vinyl on sale) but that he owned most of it as his mate ran the label and the double vinyl collection of post punk records selected by Jon Savage was a great thing of beauty to buy, which of course I did being a sucker for a good vinyl story. This plus the single by Poppy and the Jezebels were deposited back in the car ready for the Poppies (not PWEI) to come on stage.
When they came on stage it was amazing just how young they all looked, well except the drummer who popped on her shades and massive headphones and seemed completely detached from the rest of the band for the whole gig. I've liked this lot for a while, a quick search on Itunes suggests that it was 2007 when I got their first ep which seems odd given how young they all looked, but hey given Ash were about 12 when they were on John Peel age is no barrier. They were quick to leap into their half hour set, comprising great bubble gum pop songs, key boards bass and drums. There was plenty of chat between songs, a pride in all the great reviews of the new single, with a focus on the one bad review which slated their 'Brassy and Regional accents' and even a hopeless rendition of happy Birthday to half the mates of the band, which though allegedly well rehearsed descended into bum notes and giggles.
The penultimate track was a reggae number Mammas boy followed by a good rendition of single Sign in, Dream on Drop out, which whilst good was not the highlight of the set, suggesting great things from a longer player to come. The best bits about Poppy and the Jezebels is definitely the spark and fun, they reminded me of Fuzzbox, another great Brum band in the outlook on life, less guitars but same loads of fun. They finished the gig and filed off through the audience to the dressing room with pats on the back from the crowd.
All in all what was the best £3.00 spent tonight? the average coors or the spectacular P&TJB's well the answers clearly the bouncy girls. Quality.
Most surprising scene of the night, the incredibly old chap, looking a bit like Grandad Steptoe who was stood by the door watching through out, made me feel quite young and sprightly.
P.S. via the joys of Twitter: 'lovely review... And that old figure watching by the doorway actually WAS my beloved Grandpa believe it or not! Xx Dom from PATJ'