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Blog: Pete Green/Gresham Flyers

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After a day of FOOTBALL (NERVES followed by JOY for the England and Trindad & Tobago games, respectively) i set of to Bethnal Green, there to see Pete Green and The Gresham Flyers. I thought it was going to be a PACKED night as it was, with four bands playing, but I arrived to find a FIFTH band had already started. I don't know what they were called but they were dead good - they were Swedish, had a trumpet which they were unafraid to use, and when band members had nothing else to do they stayed on stage and DANCED. I thought this was a good use of time.

Next onstage came Pete, whose GRATENESS was slightly hampered by the fact he was sitting down - he's got lovely and/or touching songs about STUFF which always make me think there should be CANDLES and CIDER laid on to accompany them, with "Share Your Kit" being my especial favourite, probably because it reminds me of seeing him at The Jug Of Ale and how that's ALWAYS a good night. Anyway, the trouble with him sitting down was that it gave some of the audience the idea that he was PASSIVE and could be talked over (loudly and squeakily by a group at another table who i just KNEW were going to be Friends Of Another Band). It's horrible when that happens - you can't say "OI! SHUT IT!" even in the East End because then suddenly you ARE The Teacher, but there's talking and there's talking obnoxiously loudly, and then CLAPPING and WHOOPING at the end of the song like they were doing only draws attention to it. You could SEE the ANGER in Pete, my dears he was like a COILED TIGER, and I felt that if only he had been standing up he could have VENTED that RAGE into the set itself. At other points too he looked like he was going to get up and start dancing - He was dead good, but I say unto he: Pete! Get a Guitar Strap! BUST SOME MOVES!

After him the next band turned out to be Quite Good, but as predicted had MASSIVELY ANNOYING FRIENDS. Ah! Some things never change! I have played with This Sort Of Band for my ENTIRE CAREER - they themselves are nice enough, although one or more of them will always be EXTREMELY COCKY, and they always have pain in the arse friends who Do Not Know How Gigs Work and spend the entire night trying to attract attention to themselves. This time it was two Band Girlfriends who were whooping, dancing throughout, and later on just holding guitar cases. I AM WITH THE BAND, they said. WE KNOW! we all replied.

The other thing about These Sort Of Bands is that they almost always do a really good cover version, and this time it was "Watching The Detectives", which was ACE. Perhaps foolishly they did it in the middle of the set, which made everything else look a bit poor afterwards. NOTE TO BANDS: Really Good Cover Versions should be played at the END, really, as they make everyone happy and shines a GOOD LIGHT upon what's gone before, rather than raising expectations FAR TOO HIGH for the rest of the set.

They also had a conversation mid-set trying to work out the name of The Lead Singer Out Of Primal Scream, asking the audience for help, then chuckling "Ooh, is that like DIZZY Gillespie?" Suddenly i felt VERY OLD.

Anyway, I wandered around and had a bit of a chat, and soon it was time for The Gresham Flyers, who have suddenly gone all SOULFUL. It's odd - congregated together they look like GIG PALS rather than a band, which makes you think "Aha! A bunch of old pals have formed a band for a laugh, this will be gently pleasing in a ramshackle, twee, and hopefully not too long-lasting way" but LO! this impression is misleading, as they are actually RATHER GOOD - the SONGS felt like songs that belonged to some other band who had been around for years and had CHERRY PICKED their most LARGE numbers, and they played like a band who have TOURED THE WORLD.

It was really really good, and I dashed off for my train thinking warm thoughts of Nice People, DOING WELL.

posted 11/6/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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Thankyou MJ! And may I just add that the new-look Validators site rocks my world quite a bit?

So how do guitar straps work? Can I just use string, or an old belt?
posted 14/6/2006 by Pete Green

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