I hadn’t been to a gig on about two weeks, and after missing out on tickets to a few of the gigs that were happening around this weekend, I was feeling a bit bummed out, until I found a little advert in the local street press that The Basics were doing an August residency at the Evelyn Hotel! Score! A gig to end my drought! The Evelyn is one of the hardest venues to get into. I don’t mean there are big security guards that are like ‘Not with those shoes, pal’, I mean – where the fuck is the door? But my friend and I finally made our way to the band room and settled down on a couch with a good view of the stage for an easy-going and entertaining night.
Starting off was bizarre punk outfit, the Sophisticants a somewhat bizarre choice of opener compared to the bands following, but nevertheless seemed to a (often confused) smile on the growing crowds face, if not by their short and sharp, profanity-laced songs, then the lead-singers sporadic dancing would have definitely done the trick. Many clearly enjoyed the messy and reckless set, though there were of course the few that were unappreciative of the raspberry-blowing, nonchalant attitude.
Next was quartet Smurfinger, who were hard to pin down to any one thing, which of course is never a bad thing! When I write about bands, I am rather lazy and do make a lot of comparisons, but that is so people can sort of get an idea of the particular sound a band is similar to, but when watching this band I just couldn’t think of who they reminded me of and all the comparisons I made in my head, while somewhat suiting, didn’t seem sufficient enough to Smurfinger’s sound. The lead vocalist’s voice was a genuinely amazing voice, similar to that of Justin Burford’s of End of Fashion, but the music surrounding him was loud and spacious and yet with this raw appeal, reminiscent of Kings of Leon. Like I said though, these are valid, but don’t feel justified enough comparisons…just going to have to see them to get what I mean.
Then of course The Basic, rock and rolls answer to the Wiggles and officially the happiest band in the world! Each poppy 50’s reminiscent rock song was full of energy and excitement. While “She’s Gonna B Late” (yes, it is meant to be a ‘B’) was clear stand out, their covers of “London Calling” and “Rock the Kasbah” were thrilling reincarnations! A refreshing aspect to The Basics’ performance is that they emit an appeal of enjoyment, and that they love being up on stage, and having a great time, which can’t help but be replicated by the rather full audience. Donning grey ‘Beatles’ suits and smiles on their faces, even the sadder songs have a happy appeal! Though I am yet to see Gotye live, hearing the voice of drummer Wally DeBacker live was a great pleasure, sounding just as brilliant in the flesh then on record.