Thursday, October 30, 2003

Brighton is, I'm told, buzzing with excitement with Radio 1 down to stay for the week. Apart from a noticeable increase in young men with feathered hair in the Station on Monday night, I've not seen much evidence. Last night's Careless Talk Costs Lives gig at the Albert was nominally a radio 1 event, but there was little to denote the fact except a banner behind the stage. It was the Everett True show, really - he compered, DJed and - as his alter ego The Legend! - played the second set of the night.

I've wanted to see La Momo for ages, having admired their website and influences previously, and they were no dissapointment, better than the first band on stage has right to be. Doing that hyperactive space-rock thing with a clattery drum machine and a bit of gusto, they were occasionally brilliant - when the singer added a tom drum to the mix they invariably sounded twice as good, just as they did when their odd and stretching backing vocals added peculiar harmonies. I really enjoyed their set - they made me think of The Residents 'Hello Skinny', which was fine.

The Legend! did a good job, it must be recorded, of emptying the room. One wonders whether their set (beer and poetry over taped piano and a squalling guitar) would be tolerated if it was anyone other than Everett True centre stage. Probably not. Nevertheless, I'm not being deliberately provocative when I say that I enjoyed the set through my furrowed brow, and - alone it seems - never once willed it to end until the final few minutes when it was, perhaps, going on a bit. All the same, it was a kind of hotch-potch of Simon Munnery, avant-mode Sonic Youth and - best of all - Gavin Bryers' unequalled 'Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet'. It was laugh-loud funny in places and I could have danced to it if I wasn't so inhibited. Nevertheless, should anyone tell me it was self-indulgent, over-long and embarrassing, I wouldn't be able to argue. Still, see them once, do.

Miss Pain know how to dance. Or at least, their singer (confusingly also named Miss Pain) does. Miss Pain (collective) are an elegantly conceptualised synth pop act with dashings of punk guitar - Goldfrapp and Huggy Bear in air-hostess uniform. I envied them their lovely keyboards and their bravery. They dispensed Mills and Boon novels, circulated a mirror to be kissed, sang through a megaphone and fell over lots. Their songs were called things like 'Campari and Sex', but I saw them having crafty swigs of Grolsch between songs. It kind of gave them away. They were great.

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