In addition to the Barfly gig we were lucky enough to catch the Guillemots play a three song set and record signing in Spillers earlier. Confessing it was their first ever in-store promotion and that they found it more stressful than any gig they had played, Trains to Brazil, We’re Here and Blue Is Still Blue were played with brilliant ease by Fyfe and Aristazabel for the 40 or so fans locked inside the shop. We also got tickets for a raffle to get them to play in our house, so watch this space (see Spillers Website for pics here >> SPILLERS)
Later that evening at Barfly, with lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield safely onstage and solo intro song If The World Ends completed, the three other members of the band appeared on stage through the audience using loud-hailers, drums and bells as they made their way through the packed crowd. Fyfe looking like a Cornish fisherman (complete with straggly beard) still in his pyjamas while Brazilian guitarist Mc Lord wore a fetching green sow ester, double bass player Aristazabel a flowing cocktail dress (no doubt from her days playing cruise ships) and drummer Greg Stewart in his smock! The music was at times as bizarre as their getups....
First full band song Through The Windowpane set an eery scene with bird calls (guillemots presumably?!) and whale sounds completing the nautical theme. Eclectic and engaging but occasionally self-indulgent and doodling, the 80 minute set was not as musically captivating as their three singles to date have been. Following a competent Made Up Love Song 43, the live version of Who Put The Lights Out Baby nearly totally fell apart when the Black & Decker power drill onto guitar solo (I kid you not, see picture to the left with him kneeling!) went on far too long, prompting Fyfe to plead “stop it, its not working” yet he continued on as if in spite… Highlight was Trains to Brazil with the crowd singing along but new single We’re Here didn’t fare as well as the acoustic version in Spillers earlier. Fyfe’s solo rendition of Blue is Still Blue managed to keep the usually chatty Barfly crowd quiet for 5 minutes. Guitarists Mc Lords blue manual typewriter used as percussion (fully miked up with its own stand no less!) seemed pretentious and unnecessary when Greg can make such a fine rhythmic racket with his sticks. The encore finale with Fyfe on bass was a rambling jam of a song which would have been better left as the free website download it originally was.
All in all, a disappointing night which promised so much. Some good tunes in there, but somebody needs to put a finger on the quality control button if they are to make it out of cult obscurity. Maybe a name Producer could lick them into shape and knock off the wackier experimental edges which frankly don’t work. Loved the Guillemots egg shakers mind – a top promo gift if ever there was one!
Check their Website for free downloads: www.guillemots.com