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Blog: Martha

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After all the THEATRICALS of recent time I was very excited on Saturday to find myself heading for a gig - AFTER I'd had me tea!! I felt like some kind of crazy youngster from the Britpop years, heading for a gig AFTER having my tea AT HOME - it was like living in Leicester all over again!

For LO! I was heading to the Betsy Trotwood for a GIG... although, mostly i was going to see Mr R Kirkham, who was down for the evening - Ray rang me last week when he was ALSO down London way. I'd not been able to go and see him as I was in Croydon, but did think "I haven't seen Ray for AGES... and i AM free next week! HOOPLA!"

I arrived to find the downstairs room, as ever, RAMMED. After my recent experiences of SEATS in THEATRES it all felt a bit Inconvenient, Sweaty and Unpleasant. "This is a silly place to put gigs on, it's far too small" i HARRUMPHED to myself as i went back up to the bar.

Clearly a BEER was needed, and it seemed to work is magic as I had a much nicer time when I went back down again for Hummousexual - I remembered this time that if you don't just STAND IN THE DOOR like a twit and go INSIDE the room then there's usually plenty of space, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. They started off a bit nervous and stumbling through the songs, like what bands USED to be like, but by the end they were ROCKING OUT. It was good!

RAY arrived halfway through, so when next i went to the bar I thought "I'll get Ray a drink. Hang on though - he is very GOOD about drinking Vegan Beers, what IS there here?" I knew STRONGBOW worked, but couldn't see it. PANIC! Amazingly tho, the girl next to me said to the barmanm at the peak of my panic, "Can I have a Vegan Peroni please?" Apparently Peroni is Vegan! I never knew that!!

Then it was time for Martha, who were UTTERLY BRILLIANT. I'd seen them before supporting Allo Darlin' and thought they were all right, but this time they were STUNNING, like a cross between Kenickie and The Undertones. Yes. THAT GOOD! There were tunes, REMARKS, choruses, people punching the air, a room full of DANCING, and me at the back thinking "Wow! ANOTHER amazing Objectively Good band from the Indiepop scene! How is this all happening?!?"

BRIEF EXPLANATION: by "Objectively Good" i mean a band like the aforesaid Allo Darlin' or Standard Fare, who you can plonk anyone in favour of and say "LOOK! No explanation necessary: this lot are ACE!" I compare this to indiepop bands of the past, who i have LOVED but would, I think, need a bit of introduction first e.g. The Deirdres were one of my favourite bands EVER but I could always understand why some people Didn't Really Get It. See also Brian & The Teenagers, The Frightened Prisoners Of The Kraken, most of the bands at Indietracks etc etc etc.

Nowadays though there seem to be all these bands who are ABLE and EPT - I don't always LIKE it (there's some of the current crop who don't seem like "ours" at all, some of whom even sing IN AMERICAN ACCENTS) but I'm constantly surprised there are so many of them. Look at the MARVELLOUS This Many Boyfriends, for instance - I've been listening to their album pretty much non-stop this week, and I'm starting to think that maybe they have been REHEARSING and PRACTING GUITARS when people of MY generation would have instead been DRINKING BEER and swearing at each other.

I do slightly hanker for the old days of CACK-HANDED GUITARS and FALLING OVER, not least because they were areas of expertise in which I could compete, but it is nice to see bands ROCK OUT nowadays. At one point the band Martha actually BROKE DOWN the song and then - GET THIS - built it back up with a PROPER GUITAR SOLO! In the nicest possible way, Airport Gurl could never have managed that IN A MILLION YEARS!

I then ended up talking to some young people about Young People's Issues and thinking "Crikey, being a Young Person doesn't half sound stressful!" and thus ended up wandering off into the night happy to be in LATE YOUTH (quiet at the back!) and yet still lucky enough to be able to enjoy a whole new generation of DEAD GOOD BANDS. Gigs! They're awfully good fun!

posted 1/11/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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