A two page spread in the previous Saturdays The Times music supplement predicted great things for The Eighteenth Day of May (TEDOM for short). With an eponymous titled album released last year and new tracks being recorded for the second, this London based 6 piece look like they could be bringing British “alt.folk” to wider attention. Looking like Belle & Sebastian’s country cousins, TEMOD got a good reception for the super cool, aging Bristol audience. With American front woman Alison Brice pouting in between playing Harmonium, Flute and what looked like an acoustic triangle, they certainly seemed comfortable and tight on stage as they made their mark with a 30 minute set. Titles like Waterman’s Song to his Daughter (I don’t think they mean Dennis!), Mandrake Screams and Twig Folly Close may put off potential punters but there is something quite twisted about the “hey nonny” in their no! Worth keeping an eye on this lot. They may be onto something. Visit: www.theeighteenthdayofmay.com
Then came Robyn Hitchcock and his latest backing band The Minus 5 who include no less than Peter “air rage” Buck of R.E.M. in their ranks. I have had a passing interest in Hitchcock over the years but tend to find his albums sounding a little flat despite his eccentric talent. Tonight was a revelation as although the line up looked like Peter Cook and Dudley Moore with the Blues Brothers either side on stage, the music came to life in the live setting. Robyn’s jokes, anecdotes, political jibes at Blair and Bush, stories and general whackiness between songs made for a highly entertaining evening. He had the audience in stitches and should consider a life in standup or at least writing a book. A tremendously tight outfit with Peter Buck taking a backseat and obviously enjoying playing for fun in the two hour set. In addition to Hitchcock’s solo songs the band played tracks from their own The Minus 5 album (which were mainly bar room stompers), a fantastic note-for-note cover of The Byrds Eight Miles High with Peter wigging out on his Rickenbacker 12 String and finished on two Soft Boys songs I Wanna Destroy You and Soft Boys. All credit to Peter Buck as when the show was over he went straight to the merchandise stall where he was willing to chat to fans and sign anything anyone handed him (I got him to sign a TEDOM 7” single!). Peter Buck is a real gent and the night was top from start to end. Highly recommended.