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Blog: Haiku Salut and Allo Darlin'

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I went to my first gig in AGES on Thursday, to see Haiku Salut and Allo Darlin' at the St Pancras Old Church. It's not a venue I've been to before, and it was LOVELY - it's a proper church mostly lit with CANDLES, and it felt oddly RELAXING as soon as I stepped in, though I did have to stop myself going into Immediate Church Mode i.e. wandering round the walls, hands behind my back, examining the ARCHITECTURE.

I'd gone on my own, confident of bumping into various PALS, but I was surprised to find there was hardly anybody I knew there - more people DID roll up as the evening went along, but to start with I found myself in a room FULL of people I didn't actually know. This NEVER used to happen at indie gigs of the past, and it always takes me by surprise that there's people at these gigs who AREN'T either friends of the band OR in the other band anyway!

Haiku Salut were the support act and they were AMAZING - I never ever would have thought I'd like an instrumental band AT ALL, let alone having an ALBUM of same being one of my favourites of Recent Time, but Haiku Salut are BRILLIANT. I think it's the fact that, unlike usual Instrumental Acts, their songs are full of STUFF - they sound ACTUALLY inventive (rather than repetitively "experimental") and full of IDEAS, and the way the three of them move around between instruments all the time becomes like THEATRE or something, you find yourself WATCHING as much as LISTENING and it's just FAB. If you've not got their album yet I would suggest you rectify it PRONTO, it's dead good!

In the break I DID end up chatting to delightful persons various, and rather marvellously, while talking to Fortuna Pop Supremo Mr S Price somebody said "Excuse me, are you MJ Hibbett?" Sean REFUSED to believe that this happens all the time, I insisted that it TOTALLY DOES! Well, at gigs anyway. Sometimes.

And then it was time for Allo Darlin', who were doing this as part of their COMPASS shows - playing four gigs in different compass points of London to try out a load of new songs before they go in to record their third album. This is a TERRIFIC idea - goodness knows The Validators have often ended up playing songs properly several YEARS after we've recorded them - and made for a very interesting show. These Modern Indie Bands, they're always so ADEPT and GOOD at playing, back in my day all gigs were ham-fisted and full of ERROR, so it was lovely to see a band as ACE as them doing a whole set of songs that they didn't know completely. Don't get me wrong, if you didn't KNOW these were all new songs you wouldn't have noticed, but it was fun to watch them occasionally surprising themselves with how different bits worked, or indeed watching Mike The Drummer furiously trying to get his head round the drum patterns of one song. The expression on his face is one I know well, from watching Tim trying to work out a GROOVE for a new song, and it is a SAD FACE. Watching a drummer struggling with THE BEAT is like taking a cat to the VETS - you see panic, you see worry, you see frustration, and all you can do is try and explain that it'll be FINE.

And then, of course, you give them drugs and shave lumps out of their fur. IT'S A KINDNESS.

Anyway! I think it's safe to say that the third album is going to be RIGHT up there with the first two i.e. BRILLIANT. I already love "History Lessons" from YouTube, and everyone who told me that "Romance And Adventure" is a future hit was RIGHT. I also really really liked "Bright Eyes" which has developed HUGELY from the tentative first time I saw them play it to a ROCK GIANT. I can't wait to hear how it all turns out for the final versions!

Once the show was over I stepped out into the rain, ears ringing with GRATE songs, and very happy that I was heading home to BED rather than to a tent at Glastonburry!

posted 1/7/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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Complainig about not knowing people at gigs? i am reminded of The Scene That Celebrates Itself.
posted 1/7/2013 by Lloyd

I think "celebrates" would be pushing it.
posted 1/7/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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