Sunday, November 04, 2007

Well it was an unmitigated triumph. I'm talking about The Boonaraaas!!! show at the DWC on Friday here of course. The Boston Arms annexe was reverberating to these German lassies now sound. Where then meets the present in a cataclysmic prime punk rock rush of blood. It was three years plus since plus since the Lolitabar incident. Maybe they'd changed or something? It was all very nerve-racking but within 10 seconds, all my suspicions were utterly founded. This is a helluva band and as glorious a ruckus as you're likely to collide with anyplace. Tufnell Park presumably didn't know what had hit it.

First up was King Salami and The Cumberland 3. Pret-ty good as Larry David might say but they played too long to my mind. They were holding up the main event. However it reminded me a wee bit of Gaylord Fields with The A-Bones so that's not exactly chopped liver. Allegedly "the hit" of the Funtastic DracFest recently, they're obviously not without merit. It's just that we were champing at the bit here.

And then blammo, we're off to that hip-shakin' wonderland. The German girls cut straight to the chase and deliver a rapid fire salvo of primo rock'n'roll. By the time they got to their version of The Romantics "What I Like About You", it was clear that we were all going down. The set featured a selection of songs from their two fine albums and some other songs that are presumably new. Utterly timeless and charming in equal measure, their obvious joy at being in London was contagious. Christina's grasp of the big beat is substantial and Trich's bass rumble powered the interplay. C would have been a perfect drummer for The Ramones because she never missed a beat unlike the clockwork monkey they ended up with. Trich's vocal is the archetypal girl group warble marinated in that exotic accent to give it extra thrust. As Tine and Laura add backing vocals and thrash their guitars, there are strange harmonic licks present. All grist to the powerhouse of a mill that they're packing. The show was over in what seemed like an instant. A heartbeat even. One quick return for a breakneck version of "Shook Out Of Shape" and it's over. The disco comes back on and the spell is broken. But by christ, the audience got a punk rock clip round the noggin in no uncertain terms.

What could follow that? Well nothing really. The Len Price 3 made an amiable record but live it's somewhat uninspired. Not bad but more like (shrugs shoulders). Graeme Day and The Gaolers were on the other hand totally uninspired, with the ghost of Paul Weller bathing in the Medway casting a shadow over the sound. Clearly they have a following but for the life of me, I can't understand why. Some of it was unfathomably dull but our whistle had been whetted so each to their own.

In between the LP3 and GD, Boonaraaaaction decamped next door into The Boston Arms karaoke night. Fired up from the stellar performance, Christina and Tine belted out a rousing version of "Do Anything You Wanna Do". It was a perfect end to the evening to shore us up for the prospect of the nightbus back to Chiswick. A whole 'nother adventure again.

In a perfect world, "I Want A Boonaraaa for Christmas" would be a big hit this coming festive season although which one would be quite a quandry. The Boonaraaas!!! are the perfect prescription for these jaded times and never miss any chance you get to see them.

As I type this I guess they're driving back to Germany but hopefully the fuse has been lit and the bush telegraph will elicit a return bout very soon. Meanwhile there's the prospect of Paris in April...
At last, The BMX Bandits "Bee Stings" has been released in the UK by Joe Foster's new Poppy Disc imprint. As pure pop music goes it's pretty much unbeatable because there's so much heart and soul tied up in the realisation. These re-fashioned Bandits mean business. It all kicks off with the single (also available on 7" kids!) "Take Me To Heaven" which will answer any questions you might have had if you ever dreamt that Burt Bacharach wrote "Don't Fear The Reaper". I'm always wary of the expression "sophisticated" but in the proper hands then it's acceptable. This set is that in spades and further cements the reputation of Captain David Scott as arranger extraordinaire. "Sing The Things" could be a lost Edwards/Rogers song but of course it isn't. It's written by the crack team of Stewart and Scott. Rachel Mackenzie's voice is a perfect foil to Duglas and when you see them live, the feeling of love in the room is palpable. I'll tell you a story. First time I ever heard the BMX Bandits, I wanted to kill them. As time went on I came to appreciate that everyone has to start someplace and now there are fewer better groups on earth. A song like "I Know A Secret" (with Evie Sands on backing vocals) seems to go against everything that the music business has come to stand for. Under the right conditions it'll reduce you to small chunks of rubble. I haven't asked Duglas which particular meaning this "Bee Stings" title has. And it doesn't matter. The band has made a quietly understated masterpiece that people will discover and wonder how the hell it's possible to make music this rich.

As I've said often in the past, forget pigeonholes and alleged genres. There is only good and bad music. Granted some of it can be ugly too but the BMX Bandits are here to steer you right. As the album closes with "The Last Song", it's evident that they're capable of making a big rock anthem in the tradition of TFC. If Bellshill had a boardwalk then this would be on permanent repeat at that particular fairground. I just wonder how Davie got Herb Alpert in to do the brass?

Infused. Enthused. These sounds are the stuff of life and as mood music goes, this'll lift the darkest of spirits. Take it from somebody who knows.
Well, not long back from a lightning raid on (the) London to catch the Blighty debut of the mighty Boonaraaas!!! More about this later when I gather what's left of my recall.

Will I make the Sounds of Sweden shindig at Sloans? Questionable at this point. It's a strange day but you never know. Of course my heart, soul and spirit is in Brooklyn where all my homies are having, to paraphrase Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, the time of their lives (in gig terms). Only found one "review" of Friday night thus far but hopefully, soon, Field Marshall Helsing will lay it all out for you. So yeah, DWC report coming up after these messages. Oh, there are none? Typical.