Conceivably the hottest day of the year; England at its June best. Young Binmouth and the Fair Nicola cruised by for a spot of lunch and a quick look around the HC ‘manor’ before affording me a rare luxury of being driven up the Brum to meet up with IDS and see the indescribably brilliant Broken Social Scene.
Its seems an age ago that the Lad and I saw BSS at the old Brum Academy around the time of the eponymous album release (when Bill Priddle broke his collar bone just prior to the gig), I remember it being a tad too ‘out there’ for the Lad at the time at a tender 14 or 15 years. Earlier this year Binmouth (aka Peeblemeister - better decide what to call him methinks!)and I saw BSS rip it up as support for Pavement in London only serving to whet the appetite for a full headline set.
I will draw a veil over Sky Larkin as support, nothing terrible just didn’t do it for me.
Stage was set with a million mics and kit showing up how tight it would be to squeeze the whole BSS crew on stage and with no cheesy fanfare there they were and off into World Sick. Impossible to keep track of the set list but as well as the new album stuff (how drop dead gorgeous is Sweetest Kill the truly fab and brilliant stuff form afore and especially the eponymous album stuff – the extraordinary 7/4 Shoreline, Fire-Eyed Boy and Super Connected to name but a few.
The playing is of course uniformly sparkling, Justin Peroff’s drumming inspired, jazzy and magnificent; Andrew Whiteman has that slightly spacey/starey look but plays a mean Gretsch Tennessean with some intriguing leg poses going on (physical tip for Binmouth??); Brendan Canning a little like a blond/grey Jarvis Cocker according to the Fair Nicola and Kevin Drew the essential lynch pin, disarmingly looking a little like a talented Russell Brand. Lisa Lobsinger bringing an other-wordly quality with her dreamy, Stevie Nicks-esque delivery, and her wafting on and off stage. With the full nine(or was it ten?) BSS-ers on stage, including the horns section, there is that wonderful sense of barely contained musical chaos, except you know full well that it is rock solid and they are just too good not to know where it’s all heading.
The hour and a half set disappeared all too soon, a strict curfew for the grim club session that was to follow. You just knew that they would have played and played given the chance. The fabulous and unsettling thing about a collective such as BSS is that the very fragility of the set up makes it something special, an intensity that others only dream of, yet it could all fall apart so easily. So thanks be to be able to experience it whilst it’s here, a thing of beauty, passion and inspiration. The monumental and triumphant Meet Me in the Basement still in our ears we buy our shirts (a big Boo to Mrs IDS for not liking them!) and rejoin the Brummies outside just starting their own sweaty club nights.
Oh and the new Alpine Earplugs work a real treat!