Forest Fire, The Imagineers, The Winterhill Transmission & Dressed By Wolves @ The Westgarth, Middlesbrough 3/12/11

“She crossed herself. As she puts on her things. She has promised once before not to live this way. If she don’t calm down, she will burn herself out. Like a Forest Fire. Every time we get together. Stormy weather…..” (Forest Fire by Lloyd Cole & the Commotions 1984)
Now this review is going to be a bit strange. Firstly I’ve just got up from a fantastic night. Fantastic being; watching great bands, drinking far too much, arriving home to find I’m locked out, throwing stones at the window till my wife wakes up, eating crisps cos I’m too drunk to find real food, leaving my clothes all over the house, finding stones in the bed when I wake up, wishing all those things had/hadn’t happened………..
I also feel a bit like Delia Smith! You know when she was a bit drunk at half-time and they gave her a mic to talk to the Norwich fans and she berated them for not singing? Well that’s what I feel like after seeing a rather less than full Westgarth last night. And finding out that the audience was as sparse the previous night at The Cluny in Newcastle. What do you people want? Great bands at two great venues for £8 a night!!! What else did you have to do? Watch the X bloody factor???? Anyway, I’m not going to shout “let’s be having you!!!” I’m just going to spread a warning to you all. The Kids are Solid Gold cannot go on promoting events that cost them a lot of money if you don’t support them. They have brought us some fantastic bands over the past few years and they deserve better. They have FANFARLO coming on the 24th of February next year at The Cluny. Be there or don’t complain when there’s nowhere to go and no-one to see!!!!

DRESSED LIKE WOLVES:
Three strange looking young men either sat on the floor or sat on a stool or behind keyboards. Some in hats. Some not. But all that is immaterial to the noise they make. Without the help of drums they still sound great. Like an impish Mercury Rev. They’ve got at least 2 albums out with great titles; “I could walk on water but I’d rather part the Sea” and “Sometimes you’ve gotta stop caving and melt”. Both available for pay what you want. I’ve just downloaded both for free. I promise to give the boys some money next time I see them. The only complaint? I actually counted the crowd watching them and I didn’t need all my fingers to do so!!! A real shame as they are truly wonderful and certainly ones to watch out for. Check out their final song of the night on this youtube clip;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bix4t8by-W8

THE WINTERHILL TRANSMISSION
By the time that these fine troubadours land on stage numbers may have gotten into double figures. But only just!!! Last time I saw these boys they had a guitarist missing and Ben had a bad throat. Tonight they have returned to their majestic splendour. A great set including Ben’s mother’s favourite (and one of mine!) April Snow, as well as If I ever see you again and closing track Matador. They throw in a few I don’t know, and on first listen it looks like they’re going to be great. We have mentioned these boys a few times here at The Northern Line but we never tire of their smiling faces. I look forward to the album which must be due sometime soon???? Have a watch of “If I ever see you again” (link here) Sorry I missed the begining!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMYlLxjFRr8

THE IMAGINEERS
Part Coral, part Bandits, part The View, part Doors, collectively brilliant. Four young scamps from Glasgow who have been immeadiately indoctrinated into our collective called “The Sound of Young Scotland”. What do they feed these people on? Surely porridge, Irn Bru and Buckfast cannot produce these sounds??? They sound great, they look great, they are great. Every so often (actually it’s quite regular) we go to the Westgarth excited about seeing some of the bands and come away having fallen head over heels for a band we’d never heard of. Tonight it was The Imagineers. Afterwards I spoke to them about music and football. What else is there in life??? I compared them to the Clouds. They’d never heard of them!!!! Then again, most people I speak to haven’t heard of them!! Same look, similar sound but hopefully a slightly better attitude to their profession. (No disrespect to the Clouds but they wasted a great talent, in my opinion) Others said The Stairs. Another great lost band. Anyway, the Imagineers are not going to be another great lost band. They’re just going to be another great band.
SET LIST:
Master Reset
Join the Terror
Fairground
Find myself
Albert Einstein
Imagineer
Mariana

FOREST FIRE
One of the most mixed up bands I have ever seen. They were billed as the new Velvet Underground. This was actually quite an apt description. 80% of the band look and sound like My Bloody Valentine mixed with Reed/Cale/Tucker/Morrison era Velvet Underground. Unfortunately they have the joker from Batman as the other 20%. Now I spoke to the guitarist after the gig and he’s a lovely fella but he looks like a cross between Freddie Mercury, Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke and Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction in drag!!!! He also makes some awful guitar noise like a poor Jimmy Hendrix or Jimmy Page. He doesn’t alter the Velvet Underground comparisons he just moves the goalposts to the Doug Yule version of the Velvets!!!! At one stage I actually felt like going home. Instead I went to the bar. On my return I sat to the side so I couldn’t see, only hear, the band. The song they played went on and on and on but as it did so it got better and better and better. Like a twisted Sister Ray. I still don’t know if I like Forest Fire or not. They seem to have a musical mix up going on as well as a diverse sense of style. All members were in cool dark clothes except one. Guess who? He had a bandana round his neck and looked like a roadie for Van Halen. It was like two bands had met and split up the members randomly by throwing dice. The four indie kids managed to stay together but managed to secure the services of Slash on guitar. Is there a heavy metal band out there with Kevin Shields on guitar looking bemused???
SET LIST:
Slow Motion
MTNS are MTNS
The News
Blank Appeal
Fortune Teller
Future Shadows
No where to run
Execution Style
Promise
VIP
Sperms

As I said at the begining The Kids are Solid Gold duo of Andy Carr and Phil Carey have brought great things to Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Stockton but they cannot do this without audience support. So, support them. Get tickets for Fanfarlo and all the other great gigs that they’ll be putting on in 2012. Or not, if people don’t turn up!!!!

LINKS:

FOREST FIRE: http://www.myspace.com/fuckforestfire

THE IMAGINEERS: http://www.the-imagineers.com/

THE WINTERHILL TRANSMISSION:
http://www.thewinterhilltransmission.com/

DRESSED LIKE WOLVES: http://cllct.com/art/dressedlikewolves

THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD: http://www.thekidsaresolidgold.co.uk/

MORE PICTURES OF THE NIGHT @ FACEBOOK:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150391353036640.351932.153421781639&type=1#!/media/set/?set=a.10150391353036640.351932.153421781639&type=1

By peter on December 4, 2011


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