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Woodenbox With A Fistful Of Fivers, Washington Irving, Cattle And Cane And Rikki And The Porters @ The Westgarth, Middlesbrough 10/12/10

“Gig of the year?” If not, then in the top two!!!!

The Kids are Solid Gold have put on some great nights over the last few years and Friday was no exception. Four great bands for the pricely sum of £7. Andy Carr is either rich or stupid or has a love of music so great he doesn’t care about the money. Just seeing the bands he loves is enough. Watching him as Washington Irving take the stage is similar to what it will be like in my house on Christmas day. Kids with new toys, excited smiles and not a care in the world. He loves the bands he puts on and thats all that matters. And now a whole generation in Middlesbrough love them too. Drinking with Woodenbox at 3 in the morning in The Crown is what makes life worth living. A great nights entertainment. A horrible hangover next day. But, who cares?

RIKKI & THE PORTERS: First up a group of scally wags from the Boro. Raised on Parmos, cheap wine and cigs from the fag house. They have the strut of Shaun William Ryder, the voice of Lennon and the language of a docker!!! They conjure up images of The Beatles, The Las and at the end of their set a rather drunk version of The Animals. There is a house in Netherfields indeed!!! Now I’ve never been to New Orleans but I have been to Netherfields and I doubt they are similar. Anyway, great band, great attitude. We will be looking to cover these boys in more detail in future.

CATTLE & CANE: Still great, still with us and looking forward to international stardom in the very near future. I have seen them so many times this year that I almost feel like one of their rather extended family. Tonight they are their usual magical selves. I feel The Westgarth is the best place to see them. Its intimate surroundings bring out the beauty in their songs. “Sold my Soul” still makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You know they are going to feature in my end of year round up and I’ve basically said everything about them that I can. So lets move on.

WASHINGTON IRVING: Now before tonight I had not heard a note by these boys & girls from Glasgow so I was prepared to be impressed. I had heard so much about them them that I was expecting great things. And I wasn’t disappointed.  They are great. Like a folky Belle & Sebastian with hints of Arcade Fire and The Pogues. Since seeing them live I have listened to almost nothing else but their five track single/ep “Little Wanderer, Head thee home” (Instinctive Racoon Records). All five tracks are amazing and tonight they did them all justice. “Phantom Buck” is a late contender for track of the year. I assume an album will be forthcoming and I look forward to more great songs and to seeing them play live soon.

WOODENBOX & A FISTFUL OF FIVERS: This was the third time I’ve seen this great band and they get better every time. Their album; Home and the Wild Hunt (Electric Honey Records) is one of my favourites of the year. But the album does not do justice to seeing these boys live. We reviewed them in March of this year so if you don’t mind a quick search, go to the Archives section and click March. Then read the full review of the album and gig. In March I said they reminded me of a number of bands and that still holds true but they now seem bolder and bigger. A whole year of touring the album hasn’t made them weary. It’s made the sound tighter without strangling the songs. More raucous in parts without losing any clarity. Basically these boys are on fire and if you fancy a great night out then catch them soon. If you’re stuck for that last minute Christmas gift give someone their album. I know they’ll love it from your annoying little brother to your old Aunty Edna! After the gig we spent a good few hours with the boys drinking and discussing bands and football. Is this all people from Scotland do? If the answer is yes, then good. What else is there in life? Great lads, great band and destined for better things. Hopefully we will see them resplendent in their Northern Line T-shirts on Jools Holland or the cover of the NME or maybe we wont. Who cares?


THE WESTGARTH     http://www.westgarths.com/

THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD      http://www.myspace.com/thekidsaresolidgold

RIKKI AND THE PORTERS     http://www.myspace.com/rikkiandtheporters

CATTLE & CANE     http://www.myspace.com/cattleandcanemusic

WASHINGTON IRVING     http://www.myspace.com/washingtonirvingband

WOODENBOX WITH A FISTFUL OF FIVERS   http://www.myspace.com/awoodenbox

By peter on December 21, 2010

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