Sunday, January 28, 2007



Tonight's gig is the first organised by new-kid-on-the-promoting-block The Mad Hatter. The very late withdrawal of support act Truckstop Bandits could have derailed things right from the start, but in the event it gives the DJ duo (of whom the frontwoman of The Physicists is one) longer to entertain us with a brilliant sequence of songs including Sonic Youth's 'Silver Rocket', Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'Miles Away', Le Tigre's 'My My Metrocard' and The Raveonettes' 'That Great Love Sound'.

The live music kicks off with Lily Green. Since I last saw her perform her solo material, when she was making her debut in Cardiff, Lily's played a Meltdown event and become a favourite of BBC Radio Wales' Adam Walton and the Peppermint Patti team, as well as having her CD named Demo Of The Week by Organ Magazine. Suffice to say that tonight's performance suggests her star will be in the ascendancy for some time to come.

The most striking thing about Lily - aside from the way her lightning fast fingers attack the keyboard - is the sheer passion and intensity of her performances. Whether she's playing the relatively difficult and experimental electronica-tinged tracks or lightening the mood with a simpler but no less poignant song about a ladybird (which, with its sense of inquisitiveness, humanity and wonderment at the world, is reminiscent of The Flaming Lips), she is equally spellbinding, and the audience unanimously affords her due respect in the form of complete silence.

Drunk Granny, however, are a different prospect altogether. Like Gindrinker, the duo have been terrorising venues in and around Cardiff for some time now, steadily acquiring fans and cult status in the process.

The kind of drunk granny they conjure up isn't one who is mildly sozzled on sherry and who falls asleep on the sofa on Christmas Day. No, it's one who takes the occasion of her granddaughter's wedding to down glass after glass of wine, polish off a few G'n'Ts and then stand on the table, flash her knickers to the assembled guests and loudly announce she's coming out. Before falling face first into the cake.

But, intriguingly, they're not just the chaotic post-riot-grrrl blitz that that might imply. Beneath the looseness of the performance and the song structures themselves, there are melodic ambitions and some great tunes fighting to get out, like ferrets in a sack. A little bit of spit here and polish there, and songs like 'Care Home Rock' and 'Secret Garden' could buff up nicely.

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