Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Carter USM, Birmingham Academy

We have been a bit quiet of late on how to grow old, real life unfortunately gets in the way and those spare minutes to write a quick post about Naomi Campbells shortlived recording career get fewer and fewer.

Friday just gone I dipped my toe in the waters of nostalgia and had an evening at the Birmingham Academy watching The Vile Evils, EMF and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.

This had all the makings of a Here and Now for tubby thirty something indie kids, indie kids who have long since been indie or kids.

VileEvils are ex members of Pop Will Eat itself, possibly the non golden globe nominated composer bit of PWEI, I certainly know Fuzz Townsend is part of them, I have a Fuzz Townsend record, its best described as novelty big beat, my verdict on VileEvils? Unless they were playing in the pasta restaurant me and the short one were in prior to the gig, I didn’t see them, so can not comment.

We did arrive at the venue for EMF. EMF were a band that really were not my thing, they played baggyesque dance rock and I didn’t really get all that, I knew a few of their songs, notably the hit and it’s B-side. They didn’t seem to have changed one bit, except they had an ex member of Pop Will Eat Itself/Bentley Rhythm Ace on guitar and they were an interruption to the night for me, the sooner they were off the better. They did seem to go down quite well, oddly.

When EMF finished a crowd friendly tape was played, Wonderstuff, Sultans of Ping, Senseless Things etc, this went down VERY well, unfortunately not many people knew Too Much Kissing.

So to Carter, not much had changed to be honest, 2 men, backing tracks, guitars, one a little balder. Hell, they were even introduced by a semi naked Jon Beast. They sounded as they did, they played as they did, the same songs, the same shapes, the same crowd, even the same venue. Don’t get me wrong, they were playing to their strengths and ensuring that the crowd got what they wanted, the best bits of their entire career over 2 hours, falling on a bruise, GI Blues, Sheriff Fatman, Rubbish, Bloodsport for all, Lets get tattoos etc etc etc. The lighting it has to be said was the best I had ever seen at a gig this size, a great lighting rig, looked after by a really talented lighting man, other bands should take note.

The band as I said, sounded as they did when I last saw them in 93, 15 years ago, they sounded the same as I first saw them in 1990, 18 years ago. If it was Kidderminster Market Tavern this could have been that gig, except they describe that gig as the worst of their career and Bob weren’t supporting.

That’s the problem, my friend Jon says I love nostalgia, I don’t I like to see progression and there wasn’t any progression in the 15 years since I last saw them, and that is why it may not have been Howard Jones or Kim Wilde and the guitars may have been louder, it was in effect the same thing.

Billy's Smart Circus by Carter USM at Birmingham Academy.

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