Bladibar Bodka from Barringtone

5 Jun

Jimmy can still swing it with the cool cats, daddio – insert some hopelessly outdated cliche here about the pitfalls of increased age/wisdom combined with going out on school nights. Yet there I was, out at The Roadhouse last night. Straight off the train from Birmingham with my laptop slung over my shoulder, into the domain of bright young things, to go and see Barry Dobbin’s new outfit Barringtone. I almost feel hip again.

A quick history lesson: Soulwax begot Clor, the latter supporting the former at Manchester Academy 2. The name stuck in my head. Forward several months and a chance wander past the Barfly in Liverpool saw Clor performing that very night: a double-header with a band called Maximo Park (Who they? – Ed.) And then the chance to see them in their own right, at The Roadhouse. Their support act that night was exceptionally memorable – The Young Knives (who would later beget The Rumble Strips). I got hopelessly tipsy and danced like a loon on that night – and if you believe in good omens, I had my laptop with me then as well.

But on with last night: the first act on was local synthpop boogiemeisters Shmoo. Plenty of hot Moog action with a delicate female vocal over the top. The latter half of their setlist benefitted greatly from heavy dollops of pleasant vocoder – but some of the earlier songs didn’t seem to translate well to a live format, having either rather abrupt endings or a tame fading-out. Having said that, they are a fun band to listen to – and is it just me or was that a homage to the theme tune to BBC political show “This Week” I heard? Brillo. Headliners were antipodean Stevie Nicks lookylike Ladyhawke. A very slick performance, with some catchy tunes, but ultimately fell a little flat for me.

The main event for us however was Barringtone. It’s always difficult listening to new songs being played live from an artiste you’re already familiar with. That isn’t the case with Barringtone – they’re not Clor, but having the same vocalist and very similar ideas on chord progressions means that comparisons have to be made. Barringtone are like a Clor with the veneer of electronic noodling having been blown off by the sheer power of Rock that lurks underneath. They’re good, but they’ll be even better once we’ve had a chance to get to know them better. Looking forward to bonding over some tasty musical quiche and a nice finger buffet.

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