My 2018 gig campaign has got off to a satisfying if stuttering start.
In a bid to banish the January blues 'The Moon - the spiritual sister venue to the lamented Barfly - has a month of free gigs. Amongst these were three I would have cheerfully have paid for, Surfing Magazines, Duds and the ever brilliant Skinny Girl Diet. Great! Added to this my mate had John Mouse and Sweet Baboo playing at his house as a perk of a Crowdfuning campaign he'd contributed towards. Larvely! Giggage a Go Go!
Then unfortunately the Surfing Magazines gig got postopned cause the drummer was ill, you can't be too pissed off that a free gig has been postponed, and as they are three quarters of the Wave Pictures I'm pretty sure they'll be back. Then the John Mouse gig was also postponed cause he was offered a slot on a 6Music show. Fair enough. Dim problemo cause Steve Ford just went ahead and had a party which was great.
So the gig year started on the 23rd. Later than I thought it would, which is fine and 2018's first gig was in the venue where 2017's last gig was. It was a good line up. We got in to see very young, very earnest and very in love with Joy Division - Silent Forum, who I liked very much. Next up were Cardiff discordant heros Gindrinker. On the way to The Moon we saw the distressing site of Cardiff's oldest pub - The Rummer Tavern - being ripped apart as part of a refurb. I mention to this as DC Gates 'lead singer' and avant garde trumpeter with Gindrinker has been a long term barman in The Rummer and was quite rightly scathing of the refurb.
Around ten-ish on a school night Duds were up. A Marc Riley band, there were around 8 people packed onto the tiny stage. Following on from Gindrinker, Duds were also wonderfully jarring and they also had hot trumpet action. They reminded me a lot of Devo and Captain Beefheart. Great stuff. As the lead singer left the stage he said:
"Enjoy the rest of your evening." 'Christ.' I thought 'This is my evening.' I bought a t-shirt and then wished I'd bought the album and Sian and I caught a taxi home.
It wasn't so bad that the Skinny Girl Diet gig was a late one on Saturday. We got there 8ish to check out the earlier bands and bumped into a few mates, which is always nice, one of who was in the first band we saw. They were followed by Honey, who were a bit Metal for my tastes, but not bad, and had driven all the way from Cornwall just for the gig! Impressive.
Before SGD there was a shouty dread wearing a Backstreet Boys t-shirt and backed by a drum machine. It was all good sweary fun. Midway through the set he was stripped to the waste and shouting "Fuck Theresa May!", it didn't feel like a Cardiff gig.
Finally Skinny Girl Diet took the stage, and superb they were too. A very tight set, with a few new songs snuck in. I love the communication between the Holiday sisters. Just a look between them speeds up the tempo or goes sends the song off into a jam. As it was a Saturday night and it was a free gig there were some twenty somethings off their boxes down the front. Now sometimes this kind of foolishness annoys me, and I find that when I'm on the wagon that I have far less tolerance of drunk/pharmaceutically refreshed people. That night it just felt like people out having a fun in a place they feel comfortable, so what the hell.
Great set, and looking forward to seeing them again in six months, probably. No new merch, never mind.
The refurb on The Rummer had been completed when we walked past. It was stacked with TVs spilling out Sky Sports. It looked ghastly