With the clock still far off midnight and the crowd-swelling wave of post-pub revellers yet to depart, Jackie McKeown, Michael McGaughrin and new bassist Dino Bardot do not need to fight to make themselves heard over the light chatter of some fifty audience members. McKeown bedecked, as ever, in a chequed flannel shirt over a t-shirt with maple leaf design, makes light of the situation chuckling "Come on, we're losing the crowd!" during their opening number.
Interest picks up during outings for 'My Cult Status' and 'You Made Me Like It' two of the better known tracks from last year's 'Cookies' LP, however it's true that the band's early material is becoming somewhat stale, especially to a veteran of many shows like myself. So when 'Vulnerable' (as I think it was called) makes an appearance shortly after it's an opportunity to re-assess the band based on new (or at least newer) material. However, a huge 'uh oh oh oh' call illicits no audience response and, despite a wild rock 'n' roll finish, the 1990s are still having difficulty reaching out to this minor audience.
Therefore a return to the 'classics' is needed and the swamp blues of 'Weed' and the impossibly sing-a-long 'See You At The Lights' appear to have the crowd back on side just in time for "another new one" which, despite sounding as though Mick Jones had a hand, from bassist Dino's enthusiasm it suggests he co-wrote it. It's an effort and enthusiasm that's matched by drummer McGaughrin whose falsetto on final track 'You Were Supposed To Be My Friend' is as lovable as the band themselves.
Despite being billed second, Errors are the headline act tonight and treated to a much larger and appreciative crowd soon show their worth in the role. Errors live essentially build loops of sound, producing illicit dreamscapes and are prone to more false endings than you can shake a confused applauder at. It's involving and mesmerising stuff and all the more exciting when you kid yourself that the band are making a lot of it up - some 'freeform jazz nods' to each other being notably apparent.
The crowd now range from those chattering quietly around the bar to those up close and personal with lead Error Simon Ward, dressed tonight in a seasonal beanie, enthralled at the sound of an early appearances for key tracks 'Crew Cut' and 'Hans Herman'. The set becomes more guitar-driven as the night progresses with more of the audience becoming engrossed with the night's shimmering post-rock sound. Final track 'Mr Milk' is the best of all - cosmic, layered expulsions that you'd need to be deaf or culturally retarded not to love.