Four Day Hombre – Fibbers, 28/02/08

…and this week my night out with the Music Club takes place on a Thursday. My next appearance will probably be March the 12th – a Wednesday. I’m getting closer to being sued by Sheryl Crow…

Anyway, back to the evening in question. Five English pounds had granted us access to Fibbers, where the highly-regarded (at least by the rest of the gang) Four Day Hombre were headlining. More on them later because first up was Lights – essentially Ben Leftwich on guitar, aided by a backing guitarist whose name I didn’t catch. Ben used to be frontman with The Nicoles, who I saw for their final gig last year. I remember them being pretty good, but don’t actually recall too much about the gig itself. Unfortunately, this half-hour acoustic set was filled with very similar sounding songs and, on his own, Ben has very little stage presence. Although he does have a good voice, a bit more variety is needed to keep me interested, I’m afraid.

Next up were The New Adventures and there was a lot more stage presence and definitely more movement. At times lead-singer Jez was positively manic in front of the microphone! Strong drum lines, courtesy of Nick, and Helen’s impressive keyboards added to the enjoyment of this indie rock band’s excellent set. Helen’s very feminine backing vocals provided a very effective counterpoint to Jez’s lead and each song seemed to have a slightly different style to all the others while still giving the band a recognisable identity throughout the set. All three of us were impressed by this new (to us) band. A single due soon – hopefully an album will follow.

Finally, the aforementioned Four Day Hombre. I had borrowed their first CD, “Experiments in Living” and, while it was growing on me, it wasn’t really my sort of thing. Too slow and with with vocals that reminded me of Athlete, was my first impression. After a couple of listenings, I was comparing the vocals more to Snow Patrol, at least in parts. So, as they took to the stage I was thinking that they would be hard-pressed to be better than The New Adventures. How wrong could I have been?

Playing live, 4DH are much rockier (heavier, even) than is apparent on the CD. Even the one song I recognised (most of the set was new songs, some destined for the next album) was vastly different from the recorded version. With a nice line in witty audience repartee – “We’ve never said we do this to be professional. That would involve getting paid.” – this was a band quite obviously on stage to have fun. Halfway through, lead-singer Simon Wainwright forgot the words to one song because he was trying to remember the words to Salisbury Hill, which prompted guitarist Rich Huxley to start playing the Peter Gabriel classic. A rock cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill was also in evidence.

Without a duff song in the hour-plus long set, this was much, much better than I was expecting and I was certainly surprised by how different a band can be between recording and playing live. Overall, including The New Adventures, this was approximately 100 minutes of the finest music I have had the pleasure of experiencing at Fibbers. So far…

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About Ian

Regular gig-goer in York, both to see local and touring bands. Huge music fan, with more CDs than my wife thinks any one person should own. I also collect American comics, read a lot of SF and fantasy and am a season-ticket holder at Leeds United.
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