My main reason for visiting The Fly this Tuesday was to see and hear Sevenball, one of my favourite bands that have been absent from the live scene for a while. They also had some mates with them from their home town of York who looked like they were worth a listen so I went along. I’m glad I did.
The Fly is one of those establishments that could only be a rock venue. It is sparsely furnished, has pictures of rock stars on the walls and the sounds of heavy music in the speakers. Located midway between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn Tubes, you have the Northern, Central and Piccadilly Lines to chose from, and there is parking in the adjoining streets after 5:30pm (watch out for residents only).
The evening kicked off with Cardboard Radio, a solid punky, pub rock kinda band that really did rock. The guitarist/singer could really use those block chords and showed off on an extended blues for the last number. At this stage, the mic for the vocals was not as effective as it could have been, which was a pity as I think we would have enjoyed the lyrics if we could have heard them properly. They have a single out on Red Letter Records called “Different, Like Everybody Else”. Next up was Boss Caine, a Country Rock outfit fronted by KT Turbo and Adam Rogowski and, on this and other occasions, including the front men of Cardboard Radio. They keep the tempo up most of the time and include some nice guitar work; however, I liked it as well when they slowed down on “Just For Tonight” and “What I did Last Night”. They rocked their way out well with “You Do It For Me”. Check them out if you are up north (of England that is, not London), and check their website for CDs. Hopefully, they’ll be back in London soon.
Sevenball are a band that I first heard at one of Zaid Joseph’s Zarathustra nights at the 12 Bar, and I have been a fan ever since. Fronted by the superb vocals of Luke Richie and the awesome slide guitar of Andrew Dunn, this is a band that must be heard if you are into ground breaking rock. They were on fine form on Tuesday, opening with a solo acoustic offering by Luke followed by “Shanty”, one of their softer numbers featuring acoustic instruments. Things began hotting up with “End of July” while “One of Them” began moving into darker areas. By this time, Andrew had started bringing his slide guitars to the fore. “This Is The Love” and “Bring It Up” kept us on our toes with fine vocals and dark, wild slide. “J2t” and “You gotta know” moved us into a slightly lighter rock phase which proved to be the calm before the storm. “Tianamen” , a new, slower number was followed by “Open”, a showstopper which grew in leaps and bounds to a climax of vocal and slide which left the audience exhausted, not to mention the band. It should be added that the rhythm section is solid and their contribution did not go unnoticed. Many would compare this band with Led Zeppelin, and understandably so. For my money, any resemblance to the aforementioned is coincidental as we are all influenced by someone. These guys are there own men (not to mention band), and what they do is 100% Sevenball. No comparisons are needed, as no other band does this sort of stuff this well at this level. Check their website and myspace as there are excellent CDs to be had, with a new one on the way. Rumour has it that they may be taking up a residence at The Fly so you will have no excuse for not seeing them. Watch this space and keep gigging.
Monday night gigs. Proper hardcore. In fact I reckon that Monday's are the new Friday...or is that Thursday? Anyway, onto the matter in hand. La musica. Das musique. Der tunes. And tonight had a fair old selection. Four quality bands kicking off with Sevenball, a really strong blues rock group that, vocally especially, reminded me of Pearl Jam in places. Musically they're mining a much deeper seam than that though, with some licks that the Zep would be proud of and a undercurrent of old school country with some nice slide guitar here and there. It's easy to do this style of music and make it sound a little tired, but Sevenball nailed it for me and would be worthy headliners on a more rock based bill than this one. They like John Martyn too...and John Martyn is godlike. The rest of the bands had more of a synthy vibe going on, starting with Trailer all the way from Coventry, which seems to be going through a bit of a purple (or should that be sky blue...that's the only thing I know about football by the way) patch now in terms of music. Blending the thumping beats of Underworld with the anthemic kind of tracks that Kasabian bang out together with a bit of Liam swagger, Trailer seem to have a whole album's worth of tracks that deserve your ears (ears meet Trailer, Trailer meet ears...now go get a room). 'Set the Country on Fire' in particular has the kind of energy and positivity that I've not really heard since the glory days of Asian Dub Foundation. Ace. They gave out free CD's at the end too...which always gets my vote. Hot on their heels came Doncaster disco house gods Neon Plastix. Chuff me I love this band. Pulp meets the Klaxons in a house party and get pissed up on cheap red wine. Gentlemans Gold has that brilliant synth guitar thing that Classix Nouveux had going on (ask your grandads). Singer Patrick performed this track in the audience, with a lucky few being allowed to press the buttons on his sampler, kicking off the vocal samples whilst the rest of the band played live on stage. My new favourite group? Could be. That just left Shiny Toy Guns. Cue the dry ice...lot's of it. It's a measure of this band's ambitions I reckon...the more dry ice the bigger the band will be. Legend has it that they tour like motherfuckers and have built a loyal fanbase a la Arctic Monkeys (ie using My Space). Rock electronica with shades of MCR and even PSB (that's My Chemical Romance and Pet Shop Boys...or is that just me?) they're set for stadiums...and deservedly so. It's nice to have a band with strong female and male vocals, add strong dance beats, live drums (drummed by a very blokey sort of chap sporting a rather nice line in shocking pink eye shadow) and lyrics that should have emo kids snogging new ravers all over the shop and you've got a potent mix. Full marks for a sublime cover of Depeche Mode's 'Stripped' by the way. So there you go. Monday really is the new Friday. Work? Pah! What better way to start your week than a blues/rock/disco/emo/synth/Blackthorn fuelled party? (my thanks must go out to the lovely bar lady who served me throughout the night too...they really are a nice bunch at the Barfly).