Gladboy EP Launch @ Waterfront Studio

Heavy UEA contingent, despite Goat Girl selling out elsewhere in town. A few people in fancy dress or with heavily glittered faces.

Strip Mall

A pleasant lo-fi pop opener. Many people listening attentively but with people talking at the back/bar which carries on until the final act. It’s music for a rainy day in1Like when I’m writing.

I hadn’t looked into her and am glad I didn’t as the words “support slot with Crywank2Today is nearly yesterday and every day is stupid is one of my most listened to albums” would have given me unreasonable expectations. The comparison to Ellie Bleach was accurate. They both have a bedroom recording charm and their vocal affectations are similar. I’d like to see her again in a more intimate setting. I’m told she’s played at the Birdcage. I’d like that.

Bag of Cans

Fukken nerds. At least some of the audience was here for them3One young woman tells me she’s tired and going home after their set.. Another UEA band. They arrive on stage with the singer dressed as emo Peter Parker from Spiderman 3 and manipulated clips from that Spiderman trilogy on the projector. It’s later pointed out that everyone is dressed as Spiderman characters4right to left we have bassist as Sandman, guitarist as Doc Oc before he got evil, vocalist as emo Peter Parker with melting hair dye dripping down ...continue.

Their first song Guantanamo Baby is just a list of conspiracies with no through line so naturally I can’t stop listening to it. Hierosonic released a whole album of NWO conspiracy songs and most of them weren’t as fun or catchy as this5The media taught you that has been in my head for the past six years. In checking to see if they are still about I find out their lead singer, Ben ...continue. The first lines include “Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. 1, 2, 3, Bush did 9/11,” if that sets the tone.

Their next track Animals, about being gross, fools me into thinking that was a one off. They show themselves to be serious about being fun with a song about Captain Britain that’s a nice excuse for everyone to do a solo ending on the fan favourite: a literal bag of cans. They are fun, if you think using the word thicc in a song is funny. Which I do.

They are already playing the Karma Kafe I’m going to so no need to track them down for a round two. They are right about ants. They are cool.

Bull

Opening with a shouty song I did not understand their placement on the bill. With the second track I understood. Not just loud & energetic (which I like): they are melodic and pretty when they want to be. The chilled out surf-rock vibes are very well received.

They call on the trombonist, James, for a couple of tracks. Was this planned? I think he was improvising as the lads from Bull kept looking at him and egging him on.

If they come back to Norwich then I’ll be there.

Gladboy

What to say about Gladboy that I haven’t said before? It all boils down to: they are both good at music and good at entertaining. The music itself is a synthesis of a dozen disparate influences into lively rock.

I gave the EP a listen on the way down. I bought the CD but I’m not sure how I feel about it. I am very used to them live. This is the sixth time I’ve seen them since the first time in March. Sometimes they just show up as an emergency replacement or start playing outside the chip shop you’re in. OK it was the lanes fair but still.

Egopushing live reminds me of Dick Dale’s Miserlou (As sampled on The Black Eyed Peas’ Pump it and in Pulp Fiction). Maybe a shallow comparison as it might just be both use Middle Eastern music scales and are fast? I really like the live versions I’d heard before (and tonight) but not the recorded version. I wish I could do a side by side and work out my issue.

They are more coherent as a five, now. I couldn’t hear the backing vocals in the first song but she sang in German on the next track (Sauer Kraut) which I really noticed. They start of with Take Me Away which is where the synth shines. As does the guest trombone both here and on Weight of Expectation. Not as sure about it on Mrs Parsons. But it’s not my fave track anyway.

It was awkward watching the old small line up when they supported Starcrawler. Then, they were struggling to play to a crowd who weren’t there for them. I remember seeing a half dozen of their friends (including future band members) dancing up at the barriers as the rest of the audience stood at the back. They had tried to get people to sing happy birthday to their friend and it fell flat. Here they are as they should be seen. In a room full of their friends & fans who are ready & willing to respond to their enthusiasm.

Here the audience are willing to sit down on the sticky floor for Tyler’s Tune, a slow and sappy song my Mother dislikes. If the band are reading this: my Mum asked me to say “Hi” to you all for her. She’s seen you twice and likes your stuff6Starcrawler & Lanes Fair. Dad was also there for those and likes you.

They’d bought two little confetti cannons which didn’t really work. The audience was supposed to fire them off in Killing Fields. Both fired late, one very. Seems the mechanism was difficult to trigger. They had played a new track: Not gonna lie I actually quite like Mac De Marcos merch despite not being a fan of his music. It has the usual frantic vocals in places but repeating chorus line seemed flat. It’s short and feels incomplete. I don’t rate it.

Once they had finished the lights came up and staff started to hint it was time to go home. So I did. Humming the chorus of Guantanamo Baby.

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