I have an ambition that is fairly difficult to plan to fulfil. Normally I avoid setting myself the challenge of doing things that I don’t absolutely make sure I can do. But this is an exception.
I want to see a band who become famous, before they’re even vaguely famous.
It’s tricky. But not impossible. I’ve been kicking myself for the past eighteen months because early in 2008 a friend of mine invited me to see his mate’s brother’s band play in a pub in Putney. I couldn’t be bothered to trek out to Putney on the bus in the rain and I missed seeing Mumford and Sons in their early phase. I missed the opportunity of fulfilling my ambition.
So last night, when this same friend invited me to go and see his little brother’s band playing the Folkadot club night at the Green Note Café in Camden, I acknowledged his impeccable musical taste and also his track record (albeit only of one) for backing musical winners, and rocked up.
First up on stage was a guy calling himself Hollowbody. He looked like a hollow body too, the kind of guy you want to take home to your mum, feed with pie and dress in a homeknitted jumper until he warms up. His songs were sweet and a bit Nick Drake-esque.
The classic lyric of his was:
‘Meet me for breakfast
Meet me for lunch,
It’s been a while now but
I’ve got a hunch
That you’ll ask me to dinner,
Ask me to tea,
But I won’t call you, girl,
You’ll have to call me.’
Next was a group of guys who’d been very loudly talking in incredibly well-spoken but fake posh accents, a vicar, two with top hats, one with a stethoscope round his neck, and another with a fake moustache. They were the Dead Victorians and sang completely off the wall, dance hall style songs, and made us do actions.
Their classic lyric was:
‘I lift up my finger and I say “Now, now, hush hush, calm down, come come.”’
Last up was Tom Wake and his band, the headliner and the main event. Formerly known as Here to Baghdad, they don’t have a name at the moment, so were playing as Foxtrot for Orchestra. With almost a completely new line up, the drummer, bassist and fiddle player made a substantial difference to the quality of the music.
Tom has grown a little moustache and the violinist played barefoot. But they were so good. Totally tight and with a really cool sound. Tom growled then whispered and peered out at us all with starey eyes. There were a couple of really cool musical tricks in there too, which they pulled off effortlessly.
Good comeback! And a very entertaining night altogether. Now I just need Tom to decide on a name for his band and get famous! Should be easy enough…