More often than not these days gigs involve venues of a certain size. Too often for my liking, arena-sized venues, as even bang average acts seem to have made the step up to arenas seemingly without trace.
So it was good to be back in a basement watching up and coming bands for a fiver on a Saturday night rather than sitting at the back of some oversized hangar.
The rituals haven’t changed. Band A sets up, there’s a short set, a flurry of activity getting band B on as equipment changes, and so on. Plus there’s always the need for an extra four-way socket.
On Saturday it was the third band of the four on the bill that really caught the eye – and ear. Liverpool’s Nine Foot Brian made light of this being really early in their gigging career by delivering a punchy six-song set that indicated they are heading for bigger venues and headlining status.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to shine when you’re not top of the bill, but this three-piece made it look as if they were born to it.
With two deeply personal and affecting songs in Forget Who He Was and When I Was Young in the middle making an effective counterpoint to the pop/rock dynamics of the other four tunes they moved smoothly through their set before an appreciative audience.
They put me in mind of the more melodic Biffy Clyro moments and all those really good British alternative rock bands that were around in the late nineties and through the turn of the century.
That shouldn’t make them sound dated, though. Their classic guitar, drums and bass combination doesn’t need the quirks of fashion to sound this good.
By the time they closed with 1991 I was beginning to suspect I won’t be watching them in venues as small as the Jacaranda basement too much longer, which is a pity – although not for them.