Cattle & Cane: Arc Stockton 21/12/11

“CRAP, CHRISTMAS COVERS” (A fine piece of alliteration. An awful concept to witness)

I woke up early this morning with that awful thought in my head. You know the one. Too many cocktails, too drunk, said/did something you wished you hadn’t. I do it a lot. I know? Who’d have thought?? The feeling of guilt. Embarrassment. Why me? I think to myself as I write this review. I’m like Balotelli. Ok, I’m nothing like Balotelli. But we share the same ability to do stupid things that we later regret; Setting off fireworks in your own house. Playing “pile on” in a taxi on the way home. Giving out free money dressed as Santa Claus. Booing Cattle & Cane.
“Booing Cattle & Cane!!!!!!!!” But you love Cattle & Cane I hear you cry. They’re the best thing since sliced bread. You’ve been boring us with their brilliance for two years now. You love them like your own children……
And If my children get up on stage and do “Crap, Christmas Covers” I will boo them. Actually I won’t. I’ll get up on stage and send them to their rooms with the threat of “Santa won’t be coming this year!!!” So cattle & Cane be warned. Any more Get Backs, Be my Baby or any other such nonsense and Father Christmas will not be stopping at the Hammill Household.
There are only two things in life I hate. Actually there’s loads but time and law suits stop me from telling you all;
Cover Versions and Christmas songs.
Firstly cover versions: Why bands feel the need to destroy other people’s songs is beyond me. Write your own. Then no one can argue with you. Now there are exceptions to any rule. Galaxie 500 “Don’t let our youth go to waste”, Saint Etienne “Only love can break your heart” and, and, ok theres two exceptions and mainly because I hadn’t heard the originals first. But usually covers are the domain of bands that have no decent songs of their own. X-Factor winners, soap stars and 80s footballers.
Christmas Songs: Awful, awful, awful. Do they know it’s Christmas time at all? No they don’t. They don’t care. Just give them some money or food. Stop eating all the pies Bono and do something. Simply having a wonderful Christmas time. We were till you sang that. Last Christmas I gave you my heart and this year I’ve cut off my ears. Stop, stop, stop. Again exceptions; Fairytale of New York by the Pogues, All of “Christmas” album by Low and, and, that’s it. The first is a great song regardless of it’s connections to the birth of our Lord. The second is an album full of traditional Christmas songs done in the usual stripped back, hauntingly beautiful way that Low do everything.
So it is with a heavy heart that I write this review. Was the night rubbish. No. Was it great? Well, no. It wasn’t bad. But it could have been wonderful. Billy the kid was great. His new songs on keyboards are fantastic. He becomes more like Martin Stephenson every time I see him. He even had the hat and the between song mumblings tonight. Looking forward to the new Young Rebel Set album.
Another Time
Dont Wait
If I was

Here is a great video of Billy supplied to us by Yaffa Phillips.

Collectors Club fell into the trap I have outlined above. The rest of their set was good. Jaunty, catchy, indie pop. In the style of Talking Heads, Vampire Weekend, Bombay bicycle club. They have the looks, the sound, they’ll go a long way. Just don’t do any covers boys.
Again a great video from Yaffa Phillips:

Then to Cattle & Cane. They weren’t bad. They couldn’t be bad. They have too many great songs to be bad. But this was probably my least favourite time of seeing them. The audience was more family and friends coming to see your Nativity play than real gig goers coming to see one of the brightest new talents in the country. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by intimate gigs in smaller venues. Maybe I’m just a misearble old fart who wants the moon on a stick!!! They haven’t Sold their Soul to the devil just yet but Beatles covers are not my thing. Ronettes covers are not my thing. I quite enjoyed their Silent Night. More like Low’s version than an X-Factor version. (Youtube video here to judge for yourself)
But the show didn’t have the spark of previous performances. Arc is a great venue, the sound is excellent, one of my favourite bands, It’s a wonderful Life (one of my favourite films, ever) being projected to the side of the stage, It’s Christmas, what could go wrong? I don’t know really. Everyone else thought it was great. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’ve seen them too many times. Maybe I’d had too much festive cheer inside me. Maybe I’m an arsehole (that’s my wifes conclusion!!!) Anyway, I will see next time when they play the Town Hall in Middlesbrough on St Patrick’s day (Saturday 17th of March) with the Wildcats of Killkenny. That should sort me out. More videos from Yaffa Phillips:!/video/video.php?v=10150543423882790
How did we get here?
Tell me….
Is there nothing?
Be my baby
Can’t sleep tonight
I will rise
The Poacher
Silent Night
Get Back
Sold my Soul

A big thanks to Alice and everyone at Arc. Also thanks to Yaffa Phillips for the great videos of the night. A Merry Christmas to all our readers. And watch out for the end of year review. If you disagree with this review then why not write your own? We are always looking for new contributers here at The Northern Line. We cannot offer payment but we do have some lovely t-shirts, we might get you in for free and when we meet I’ll buy you a drink. Can’t say fairer than that!!!






MORE PHOTOS AT FACEBOOK:!/media/set/?set=a.10150424193936640.356301.153421781639&type=1

By peter on December 22, 2011

Check out all the pics

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