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.
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.
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.
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.
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