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The Hot Puppies (The Picnic Solution, The Clouded Lights, and Buen Chico)

Joseph's Well on 31 May 2006
Reviewed by Dave on 1st June 2006

Thanks to the excellent services provided by First Buses I arrive at the gig half an hour late, or so I thought, but when I get there they are still doing sound checks. I feel totally drained tonight so I buy myself a pint of lemonade for the sugar and sit down and wait.

The Picnic Solution

I’ll start by saying that ‘The Picnic Solution’ is a great name for a band. I will also say that these guys are new, (brand spanking new) this is the drummer’s second gig with the band but you couldn’t tell from watching them.

Lindsey, the vocalist, has a belting voice and she manages to make every song interesting, whilst looking completely bored herself. Unfortunately, her vocal talents and the band’s obvious prowess with their instruments are wasted on an almost empty room, it is no wonder that the band look like they have somewhere better to be. The lack of a crowd doesn't phase them though and they play through a lively set, which I think people will kick themselves for missing.

Rating: 6/10
Website: www.myspace.com/thepicnicsolution

The Clouded Lights

If this band were a colour they would be beige, and as well all know beige is a boring colour worn by boring people from boring places, boring places like Belgium.

There is nothing to distinguish the first two songs, the vocals sound the same, droning and monotonous mumbled into the microphone. Imagine my surprise then when people start dancing and throwing beer around like this is a group of rock gods rather than a group of Libertines wannabes.

It’s obvious that those playing their instruments can play them with some degree of talent, but they are not doing anything new, they are taking a sound that is already there and adding nothing of their own. As the singer throws his tambourine into the crowd it is clear that he wants to be Pete Doherty, he badly wants to be Pete Doherty, the arrogance, the mannerisms, the way he mumbles the lyrics are all exactly the same as the Babyshambles front man. And for me, that is the problem, its been done to death, fair enough if a band influences you but if you are going to outright copy them you might as well just do covers.

The band is told they have one more song, but decide to give themselves an encore and the song deteriorates to the point where the drummer and bassist are the only ones on stage playing pointless chords and hitting the drums. At which point they are finally cut off.

Rating: 1/10
Website: www.myspace.com/thecloudedlights

Buen Chico

After the sheer mind-numbing boredom that was The Clouded Lights, Buen Chico are a more than welcome change of both pace and style. Furthermore they are unique tonight as the only band that doesn’t use a tambourine.

Their set is lively, and their music is jaunty and bouncy. Highlights include the band’s current single ‘Killing Somebody’ and their closing number ‘La La La, I Can’t Hear You’.

The guitar riffs are well constructed and brilliantly executed; Alan plays the drums like a young Dave Grohl and Kirsty, the bassist, provides some wonderful bass lines, as well as adding her vocals to a few of the songs.

A great trio, with great amounts of potential; who have already shown that they are more than capable of holding their own with the big names, they have gigged with the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, The Subways and iForward Russia! to name but a few.

Rating: 8/10
Website: www.myspace.com/buenchico

The Hot Puppies

The final act tonight is The Hot Puppies a five-piece band whose set opens with ‘Terry’ a beautifully melodic song that shows off Becky Newman’s hauntingly gorgeous voice.

“Come closer to me” Becky says only to be mobbed “Okay, maybe some of the nicer people could come closer” she says as the band start to play a selection of slow songs which get me thinking of The Czars. But the Hot Puppies can kick it up a notch when it is needed and their current single ‘The girl who was too Beautiful’ provides a more rock-y sound.

This is the first time that I have properly listened to any of the band’s songs, I had a quick listen to the songs they have on their Myspace a couple of days ago, but this is the first real chance I have had to just stop and listen and I was impressed.

Rating: 8/10
Website: www.myspace.com/thehotpuppies


Gravatar Jimmy says:-

the Picnic Solution were awesome, they are not just a good local band their songs should be signed, theyd be massive. Totally agree with Clouded Lights review haha.

2nd June 2006 @ 11:21:15 GMT

Gravatar Steve says:-

hey cheers for the review man
anychance you could send us any more photos you took through to us you've got my email address up yonder ^^

steve(the picnic solution)

2nd June 2006 @ 12:58:20 GMT

Gravatar Dave-O says:-

totally, the highlight of the night was the picnic solution. They are announcing more gig dates and i cant wait to see them real soon. Great stuff.

2nd June 2006 @ 18:25:18 GMT

Gravatar Dave says:-

Shall send you some more photos if you like Steve :)

2nd June 2006 @ 19:30:10 GMT

Gravatar andreas says:-

"Terry" is the best song ever to feature a very drab name in its title.

4th June 2006 @ 19:30:09 GMT

Gravatar Jamie says:-

Is that lights review a joke?

Babyshambles?...Try roses or mondays

Pete Doherty? What the fuck?

That review is terrible, clouded lights were ace that night but theyve been amazing on other nights...dont judge em on one night at josephs well the sound guy was shite...technical difficulties early doors...and then the cunt comes up and tells em one more song...when it wasnt even there fault they started late?...the crowd down the front were loving they all wanted another song, and the impromptu jam at the end was class...all i can say to this reviwer is your wrong mate..ur wrong and ur a xxxx......

[edit by Andreas: Whilst I am glad you obviously enjoyed these people, our reviewer didn't and that's no reason for you to be rude. Also, I edited out your naughty word. Besides, The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays were both dire. DIRE.]

8th June 2006 @ 22:40:24 GMT

Gravatar Jason Ellam says:-

Basicly i am not a die hard fan of clouded lights, but that revew is unfair. I know its just an opinion, but i think it is an exadurated oppinion.
I for one enjoyed the clouded lights.Keep it up lads, and as for pete doherty wanna be, i will agree the manorisms and cockness are on there way, but the singing is a million miles away, if you can only think of pete doherty to compair that voise to you should concider listning to a few more bands before you became a music crittic.

8th June 2006 @ 22:41:48 GMT

Gravatar Dave says:-

The review is based on their performance that night because thats what I saw, I didn't see their other perfomances, which may have been amazing, but from seeing them that night I doubt it.

If I'm not mistaken as well the people at the front were the bands mates (mostly at least) and there was someone in the crowd shouting "One more song" after every band, so really every band should have played an encore shouldn't they?

I maintain that the vocals were terrible and Doherty-esque, who knows if he actually sang rather than mumbled they might be bearable.

9th June 2006 @ 09:28:41 GMT

Gravatar Reg says:-

I too feel I must comment on the harsh review of this band. I was at this gig and must say the clouded lights were much more 'baggy manchester' than 'Libertines'. I found them entertaining. I think you've labelled the singer Doherty-esque because you have possible never heard of a few obvious manchester comparrisons...I felt the singer was very Ian Curtis in his vocal style and Ian Brown in his mannerisms. It's a tired and tried journalistic trait to label any indie band who isn't quite as good as another indie band Libertines/Arctic Monkeys/Strokes wannabes. If you had more musical scope, you probably wouldn't have seen those comparrisons. And with that said, the only thing boring about the gig is your review.


9th June 2006 @ 12:05:56 GMT

Gravatar Jamie says:-

Stone roses...dire...who is this guy?

9th June 2006 @ 13:25:23 GMT

Gravatar THE Mystery Man says:-

The only time I'd ever give a band 1/10 is if they couldn't complete a song or keep in time at all. Harsh.

9th June 2006 @ 14:01:23 GMT

Gravatar john says:-

i feel i must set the record straight for you all out there, no longer must this fact sit in the dark. this reviewer who has decided to rip apart the clouded lights was once.....yes thats right.......was once a member of this band in question. it became apparent to the other band members rather swiftly that he could not perform on the harmonica to the standard he suggested he could. he was ejected in a hail of expletives and now it appears has taken it upon himself to following the band around dishing out bad reviews at every available opportunity. shame on you sir.......shame on you

9th June 2006 @ 19:51:12 GMT

Gravatar THE Mystery Man says:-

Haha Agreed

10th June 2006 @ 08:50:20 GMT

Gravatar Ryan says:-

Its fine if the guy didnt enjoy the music, thats not an issue but when he absolutely berates a band and rips them apart then thats when it becomes an issue.Ive listened to the clouded lights a number of times and instrumentally they are very good. Sure they could improve on the singing but thats the problem with most bands these days anyhow. But 1/10 is a direct insult to their musical talent.1/10 is someone who cant play the instrument properly.1/10 is the harsh reality of a reviewer whos own musical talent is obviously in question.This whole review is questionable and is the work of a typical web journalist who hides behind the smoke screen of his monitor.However bad they were on that set im pretty sure 1/10 is too extreme.

15th June 2006 @ 11:45:08 GMT

Gravatar Jamie says:-

Agreed...poor reviewer....poor harmonica player....

21st June 2006 @ 16:42:13 GMT

Gravatar Luke says:-

The clouded lights are the worst set of Ian brown wannabes ever, their songs are all ripped off stone roses Z sides and the Ian Brown style dancing, well, if thats what been in a bands all about for them well just let them be!

22nd June 2006 @ 13:28:30 GMT

Gravatar Paul says:-

i was at this gig and clouded lights were proper bad
no ones said they are terrible everytime they play but that particular night as josephs well
clouded lights were appalling
im sorry to say it
but they deserved the 1/10 that they were given.
but thats an opinion
everyones got em each to their own
dont get wound up about someones words
do something about your bad music.

+ the stone roses were DIRE

26th June 2006 @ 10:58:47 GMT

Gravatar Steve says:-

Aye yeah mate if youve got some more photos that'd be brilliant..

26th June 2006 @ 11:05:01 GMT

Gravatar jay z says:-

i wouldn't expect kurt cobain to be into the stone roses. so why could he be considered an authorative writer on the subject? should never have done the review mate

26th June 2006 @ 17:20:06 GMT

Gravatar steve says:-

what a joke review. this person has reviewed the picnic solution twice out of four reviews???? quite clearly he is a pretend amateur journalist playing at professionalism by going along to local gigs, reviewing for a nothing source and giving his friends the kind words.......quite frankly music fans can do with out this type of fraud

26th June 2006 @ 17:29:33 GMT

Gravatar Ben says:-

Jesus christ, there were a fair few fan boys posting their two cents on here, wasn't there.

Does Dave cite himself as the be all/end all authority over music? No. However the way some of the posters on here have been acting make me think they feel they are the high and almighty on the topic.

Band's have off nights. Sadly, this looked to be one of those nights for The Clouded Lights. I would agree that a 1/10 would be reserved for those with little-to-no musical capability, I would gladly give a 1/10 for a band who's stage presence... or LACK of by the sound of things.... took more of the proceedings rather than the music.

As for the almost smear campaign against Dave's review - welcome to the real world, boys and girls. Where YOUR favourite band may not be everyone elses. I think this really stems from a friend of a friend discussing how poorly the band were treated, hence the almost flame like war here....

... but you all came onto the site and gave us hits. Suckers!

7th August 2006 @ 21:16:53 GMT

Gravatar hitter says:-

haha suckers....all of you.....you hit ben for free

13th June 2007 @ 17:14:25 GMT

Gravatar Chris Parkin says:-

Steve Lamacq Show 25/01/08

Check the band of the week at 18.19

Public Image Ltd. - Rise (16:00)

Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place (16:06)

Scanners - Lowlife (16:10)

One Night Only - Just For Tonight (16:20)

Maccabees - Toothpaste Kisses (16:23)

Hope Of The States - Nehemiah (16:26)

Morrissey - That's How People Grow Up (16:35)

Luscious Jackson - Ladyfingers (16:38)

Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful (16:45)

Buffalo Tom - Taillights Fade (16:54)

Question Mark And The Mysterians - 96 Tears (16:58)

Beck - Sexx Laws (17:02)

Lupe Fiasco - Superstar (17:05)

Culture - Two Sevens Clash (17:14)

Bob Mould - The Silence Between Us (17:19)

Mystery Jets - Young Love (Feat Laura Marling) (17:23)

Cat Power - Aretha, Sing One For Me (17:28)

Bluetones - Bluetonic (17:35)

M.I.A. - Paper Planes (17:41)

Robert Plant / Alison Krauss - Please Read The Letter (17:52)

Pink Floyd - Arnold Layne (17:56)

Primal Scream - Loaded (18:01)

I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares (18:05)

Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony (18:12)

Klaxons - Lamacq - Unsigned Bed (18:17)

*The Clouded Lights - Role Model (18:19)*

Siouxsie And The Banshees - Dear Prudence (18:22)

Badly Drawn Boy - The Time Of Times (18:26)

Doves - Black And White Town (18:34)

Sons And Daughters - Darling (18:38)

Velvelettes - Needle In A Haystack (18:42)

Brand Nubian - Wake Up (Reprise In The Sunshine) (18:45)

Altered Images - Happy Birthday (18:54)

These New Puritans - Elvis (18:57)

If you want to listen to some more feel free to visit www.myspace.com/thecloudedlights

Thanks for the feedback,
construction criticism is always welcome,

Chris Parkin, the lead mumbler of The Clouded Lights!

27th January 2008 @ 23:05:48 GMT

Gravatar Army Recruitment says:-

so this band end up being hand-picked by no less than Steve Lamacq..........wow spot on Dave.....seems like your music journalism is little short of genius.....right on.

.....seriously I think you should probably just join the Army.....give up on life

1st March 2008 @ 00:37:41 GMT

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