Houses Of Parliament
April 19th 2012
Now this was an unusual gig.
I was invited to the Houses Of Parliament to celebrate the passing of the live music act which is one of the rare moments when the musician actually gets some help from the law makers. It’s a landmark moment and proof that people will listen to our concerns. Power to the politicians for who recognised, on a cross party platform, that something had to be done with the live circuit- what next the real problem of getting visas to tour America?
Somehow I was got asked to introduce one of the bands and in a jovial, sprightly manner made a few jokey remarks about the headlining MP4, the group made up from MPs. I had seen them play before and their tight, competent sets of covers of classics was well executed but not what you mark down as a serious band despite having a member of Runrig (now an MP as well) on keyboards give them some sort of pedigree.. Good for them, if they want to have bit of fun playing their guitars…
Mistakingly I thought they were having a laugh and not a totally serious thing and that MPs playing in a band would have thicker skins. Surely they must have heard worst in the political battleground?
But this does not seem to be the case.
When they got onstage their singer, MP Kevin Brennan decided to have a go, and slagged of Goldblade saying my band was hardly the Sex Pistols or the Clash and that I had the worst mohican (sic) ever and he had not seen me on the Rock Against Racism marches in the late seventies. Quite possibly true on some counts! It was an amusing and faintly surprising moment but I’ve heard worse!
We were on the terrace of the mother of Parliaments with a rather disparate grouping of bands gathered to celebrate the Live Music Bill passing its third reading and report stage and the UK music industry had gathered to celebrate.
The bill is designed to make it easier for bars and clubs to host live music without needing apply for a complicated and expensive music license, the Private Members Bill introduced by Lib Dem Peer Tim Clement-Jones and promoted in the Commons by Bath MP Don Foster, should now proceed to Royal Assent.
First on, Maria Topley Bird looks splendid in her red party dress and oozes a fascinating kookiness, she once was the foil to Tricky and made a mark with her slightly twisted and captivating singing style. Now armed with an acoustic guitar she has lessened her off the wall style but is still as interesting.
Daytona Lights are very much a band on the up. Fresh faced and with an addictive joy to what they are doing they know how to cut a joyful sound. On their demos they managed to find some kind of new area in the very cluttered indie guitar field with their use of space and great harmonies. Live, through a small PA it’s tricker to find that space but they still manage to sound completely original and have a real sense of melody about their songs.
You can always sense when a band has that certain thing about it and Daytona Lights are a unit, They are as tight as their harmonies and their songs have an origaility and confidence about them that sets them above many of their contemporaries. They are fresh, original and ready, a few months of non stop touring should see them placed.
The headliners are the aforementioned MP4 who dust off a sprightly Beatles cover in as the Thames rolls past.