Reviews – The Unfortunate Incident @ Sheffield Academy

(Public apologies for the delay. It’s been hectic at Sloucher HQ – Quintana)

The posters promised an “evening of aural delight and aesthetic pleasure”. Don’t know about that after spending the night outside my flat (long story short: people=shit) and sleeping in a semi-public library (you’d be amazed how comfy are the collected writings of W.B. Yeats and Richard “Wanker”Dawkins when you are tired).

Still, the night was nippy, the atmosphere was full of the whole spectrum of music fans (alcopop enthusiasts, the odd geezer, rockers, that journo couple I run into every gig) and the floor of Sheffield’s Academy 2 felt like it had been mopped around with egg yolks.

Anyways, Stripey Jack opened up the night and they were alright. There were some interesting musical ideas (mostly on the guitar, courtesy of a chap called Joe Shaw) and did a nicely-pulled cover of the Arctic Monkeys (which is a bit of a cliché, but then again, it was a very good cover). Here’s hoping they do find a sound of their own.

Stripey Jack onstage

Stripey Jack

It was the turn for a complete change of mood (check out the blue-purpley lights, this is friggin’ serious, yo!). It was the turn for The Hope Explosion, a band that needs not a bass player to make a place rumble. It all started with deceptively sounding songs that built and complicated themselves, like little sonic Möbius strips. Wouldn’t want to meet the drummer when his on a bad mood, though.

The Hope Explosion

Song names? Don’t ask me about any bleedin’ song names, but once yours truly manages to get a copy, they will get reviewed (checking their Myspace, it’s even money they played ‘The stress of the scandal’ and ‘What you said last night’). It’s a sonic experience that needs to be repeated and it was a fantastic surprise. It’s these little finds that really make you appreciate the joy of seeing music live. Nothing beats the live experience.

And speaking of live experience, it was now the turn of The Unfortunate Incident, a band I’ve tried repeatedly to review, but usually something happens and the review goes awry. Thankfully this time the story was different. And since I’m in the subject, a point has to be made: this is a live band. This is a band that has to be heard live to get the proper experience.

The Unfortunate Incident

Don’t get me wrong, the album is good, but there’s an extra kick of getting to hear songs like ‘The boy that stood in the rain’ or ‘Every breath you take’ (two corkers fer sure) live. Ill-fated puppet Jonny Sock was eulogised by the song that showed his demise (‘One small step’). Rumours about his flour-made effigy getting merc’d by an anonymous hatchet person are unfounded.

Jonny Sock - Always in our minds and hearts

Standing in front row might have been a bad idea, as singer Russ Palmer looked like he was ready to spill the beans over the audience. I know about people being honest about their art, but I’m grateful nothing happened (even if there was a vomit bowl trustfully laying by the sides). Bassist Dan Palmer kept a healthy distance from any potential splash zone and drummer Tom Wilks managed not to sever a thumb, although it looked like a possibility during set-closer ‘The unfortunate incident’. A quick encore (wonder where they got the energy from?) was done and it was the end of the night, with some free cookies being distributed to the more than satisfied audience.

-Quintana “Quinto” Haberno.

Check the gallery for this gig:



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