Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Bleech at Barfly, Camden - 2012

Barfly is situated in Camden just down the road from the Roundhouse. It's a small pub with an upstairs venue which features live music every evening. The evening opened with Night Business whose striking lead singer has vocal tones and delivery like his hero David Bowie. Although they do convincing covers they play their own compositions including ‘Lets Out’ and ‘Moving On’. The latter having a sound reminiscent of what was good in the 80's.

Gaoler's Daughter, fronted by John Sterry, played a combination of good rock songs like ‘Invisible Man’ and mellower songs such as ‘Three Days Rain’, followed by ‘Cordelia’. ‘How to Make Time’ was musically the most interesting. The audience really got into ‘When We Were You’, their most recent single, encouraged by its staccato rhythm.

Eyes On Film, with five members, a drum kit and keyboards had difficulty fitting on the small stage. Fronted by Dan Mills, with Libertines singer Carl Barat on guitar, they played an energetic set with aggressive lyrics and delivery.

Back from their successful German tour and in front of a home crowd, Bleech: Jennifer O'Neil - Lead vocals and guitar, sister Katherine - Backing vocals and bass guitar, and Matt Bick - Drums and backing vocals; gave the audience what they came for, a rousing and powerful rock/grunge adrenaline fuelled set.

They opened the set with an extended version of 'Dancing Without You', that fans of the group and their debut album 'Nude' know and love. Before playing some new songs they powered through, five more songs from their album including their last single 'Break My Nose', a cover of David Bowie's ‘Is It True Boys Don't Cry?’ and the self-affirming, often mis-titled, ‘I Want to Be Me’.

New songs included, ‘Here I Am’, ‘Taking Over’ and ‘Control’ - taken from their current EP. I found ‘70's Child’ very reminiscent of Elastica with Jen singing in a much higher key than usual. As Jen announced that this would be the last song there were shouts from the audience that they wanted more. Jen pointed out that 'you are supposed to say that when we have left the stage' much to the amusement of the crowd.

As the fans so enthusiastically requested an encore they were treated to an acapella version of ‘Flower Hands’ and closed with one of their first recording, ‘Are You Listening’ - which has a great combination of bass and lead guitar.

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