Keith Goldhangar reviews the recent Eliza & The Bear & Hooded Fang gig in his own inimitable fashion.
I fuckin love pianos and I love pianos in bands that have lots of singers that go WOOOOOOOOHHH WOOOOH !! lots of times like Coldplay and therefore the minute support band Eliza & The Bear appear, I am smitten. I know nothing about these except that they are from ROMFORD, a seemingly hotbed of musical talent nowadays (see also Rednek and … er … no one else really…). They have a piano player who seems to be playing in his favourite band, singing and clapping along on one side of the stage making me feel like I want to sing along too and wish I knew the words like him … and already I’m scampering off to find out more for next time (and there will be a next time).
You’re from Canada right? And Canada doesnât let bad people or bad bands out of their country however hard they try. Daniel Lee and partner April Aliermo formed Hooded Fang. They broke up and decided to continue hanging around together to write an album or two about how breaking up is hard to do. And it sounded ace. Aliermo was still part of the set up when I saw them at the start of the year but is absent this evening for reasons we can only work out ourselves with the answer varying, depending on what sort of person you are yourself (she was mentioned at one point but i couldn’t hear what the singer was saying). Tonight the band are an all male quartet which means at some stage in the evening they remind us all of the BUZZCOCKS. But with slower songs. And a lot of echo. Which is why i didn’t hear what was said about the missing bass player …(so…she’s dead? / she’s not dead? / she got married? /she didn’t get wed? / she works in seven eleven?/ doesn’t? /New band? Who knows? And so on. TURN THE BLOODY ECHO OFF IN BETWEEN SONGS PLEASE!).
Anyway, rock and roll for want of a better term, and just for the sake of this review, can be divided in two categories. Shouty shouty music and not shouty shouty. Hooded fang are definitely not the shouty shouty type. They’re a bit like THE DRUMS with better songs or the VACCINES without the shouty bits and a lot of those sixties sounding bands that usually had a lot of females in them that were on the C86 cassette that once came many years ago attached to the NME, a magazine that sadly continues to ignore my letters about secondary ticketing companies.
Hooded Fang make sexy swooning danceable rock and roll, made for people to swing to in 1950’s “Happy Days” style diners wearing big clothes and drinking milkshakes whilst one string guitar solo’s, one or two “wooooh whoooo’s” and a few catchy choruses’ entertain the teenagers, or in this case the 20 something’s with their 8 day old moustache’s who stand here holding on tight to their expensive bottled lager whilst swaying their shoulders to and fro hoping not to disturb the carefully placed slice of lime protruding from the bottle neck – that can be the name of the next much required UK youth culture when you’re all ready. The Lexington also does a good pint of “Flying Scotchman”*, an important feature in my life nowadays is this. Hooded Fang have short songs (and short albums) that go “dooobadooba ba ba dooobadooba ba ba…..” , have a drummer who not only plays at 55 miles per hour without dropping a stick or a beat but can even administer shoulder massages to bass players in the middle of songs.
After a shortish set they return, apologising for not realising how early it is and throw in four or five more songs including the wonderful “Den of Love” and by the end of the show people are dancing in pairs whilst a large elderly Italian looking guy walks around serving Pizza & hamburgers (not really I made that last bit up).
All words by Keith Goldhangar. More by Keith can be found on Louder Than War here.