Call me Russ L

GDFAF #5: The Courtesy Group / Mills And Boon / The Fakulty (30/10/6)

Posted in Going Deaf For A Fortnight 2006, Music by Russ L on 31 October, 2006

I’m wasn’t tired any longer and the tinnitus had more or less completely receded since I was given it by the first night, but distinct feelings of “I’m bored with this game now” were running through my mind as I set on out for this one.

The gig itself turned out to be fun, though. I didn’t really have anything in mind for this night, so when Her Mightyness Nizailz told me that The Courtesy Group were playing at The Sunflower I thought “That’ll do.”

I had no idea who else was on the bill, but the openers turned out to be The Fakulty. They entertained me, and you can’t fairly ask for a lot more than that. They play melodic rock with a vaguely 80s bent, for the most part sounding like those half-ballads that Aerosmith do but going in for a couple of AC/DC-ish rockers too. The songs were OK, and even though after a few of them I was left wondering how many more OK melodic rock bands I need in my life (and, worse, how many more OK melodic rock bands I need in my life this fortnight) I did warm to the sense of fun/having-a-laugh-ness about them. They amused me and made me smile. That’s enough, I suppose. It was also pretty evident that most of those in attendance were there to see them specifically – it looks like they might have quite the devoted little fanbase.

This became all the funnier when Mills And Boon played. Nonplussed expressions abounded from The Fakulty’s entourage. I find that sort of thing comical, anyway, dunno about you. Mills And Boon are one of those bands I’ve wanted to see for ages and never quite got around to it, so I was happy to find out that they’d been added to the bill here (on about two hours notice apparently, not that it showed). They feature not only Chinook and The Cribbler, which I knew, but also This Lad With A Beard from the previous night. Cor. Their churning groan ‘n’ jangle music and sprawling loosey-goosey song structures with added whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ over the top didn’t seem to do a lot for The Fakulty’s crew (although one girl did seem to get into it a bit, to be fair), but some in the audience appreciated it more. I thought their violent jazz-rock was ace, myself.

T’other lot had buggered off entirely by the time The Courtesy Group came on, which is probably a good job. I’m not sure what they would have made of them. They defy description, really – post-punk as a base, I suppose, but with a wired energy, generally an oddly insistent groove, poems read in between songs, a singer charging all around the place, a big swampy Sabbath/voodoo song, one with an industrial sort of feel, and a man wearing a really tall hat. The latter may just have been because it was so near to Halloween. I don’t know. Whichever way up, theirs was the best set in GDFAF 2006 so far by a good distance.

A great comic moment came when the vocalist wandered around the room and eventually behind the bar while singing. The barman approached him as though to move him on, hesitated, thought better of it, and slunk back to where he was originally standing. Like so may of the things I’ve mentioned about this night, you probably had to be there.

‘Playful lunacy’ – “that’ll do.”

~ Russ L, doing something a bit different next. Standard GDFAF service will recommence on Wednesday night, probably with Baroness at the Medicine Bar.



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