First up was Johnny Gwynn & the Destroyers.... ahem. So yeah, Johnny's always ace tracks got fleshed out a little by having the live band dynamic going on and switching to the electric guitar. 'Swagger' became kind of Bends-era Radiohead, while 'Leavin' Home' became Who-style proto-stadium rock (I'm thinking kinda like the cuts on Who's Next). 'Midnight Oil' was more straight up classic rock I suppose, but like all Johnny's stuff, there's clearly a double helix undercurrent of classic Clash esque punk and modern punk. Fucking ace anyway, even if I was playing (hey, who said this had to be objective?).
Second up we had Mr. Sportsman. Elsewhere on here, there's a short review of their Good Morning Virtue EP, which to be honest was a little too mainstream for me, or maybe not. I dunno, I think it tried too hard or something, but whatever my fucking quibbles with the record were, live the band are completely different. More raw and agressive, their show to me was very Pearl Jam, or maybe even more post-grunge like Silverchair. Either way, it's a style of playing that I haven't seen a band doing in quite some time and it was damn good to see. Conclusion: Mr. Sportsman live are pretty fucking ace.
Third we had Black Market Serotonin, who battled through technical issues to bash out 'Irons in the Fire', 'Deadbyfiveoclock' 'The End of History' and 'Something from Nothing, Pt.IV'. The band as a whole were tighter than their first gig, but with their sound heavily reliant on the kit they use, it was a shame to have their set slightly blighted by those issues. Nevermind. You know we love those guys, and for a second gig it was still damn good.
Headlining was Charlie Barnes. Like BMS, I've raved on here about him so much that I'm going to dial it back a bit. Charlie and the Geekks stormed through a set that took in 'Degas Dancer', 'Snakes, Ladders & Aeroplanes', 'Geekk', 'Oradour' and ended on 'This Boy Blind'. If you want to read about his live show, check out my review of his launch gig. FUCKING AWESOME!
Finally, releasing their Four Dances For Dancers EP was Unconscious Jungle. The setlist was 'Tired of Holding On', the EP tracks ('Bossa Nova Supernova', 'Midnight March', 'Rainbow Room Waltz', and 'Foxtrot Hymn for the Stars'), as well as 'Queen Bee'. Obviously my favourites are 'Foxtrot Hymn' and 'Bossa Nova', but you're always pretty much guaranteed a quality set from these guys. For the uninitated, it's an oddball blend of classic psych rock and folk- I'm tempted to make a Grateful Dead reference, but perhaps the Flaming Lips is more apt. I don't know. Either way, all of their songs are pretty much designed to be danced to- when they say 'Waltz' or 'Bossa Nova' in the title of a track, it's not an idle crack at indie cred. No, what you get is exactly what it says on the tin. Whilst their set was not as triumphant perhaps as their Battle of the Bands winning performance a few weeks ago, it was nevertheless well received and got a few people swaying about on the Saki dancefloor. At close to one o'clock (as if gigs ever run on time) UJ departed to a chorus of cheers, and then began the task of trudging our sorry arses home.