Blind River Scare seem to be everywhere! With a slot just below top Americans Clem Snide the band stuck to the set those of us who have seen them in the past few months will be familiar with. The crowd seemed to like what they heard as each song was given good applause by the quickly filling up Barfly.
Clem Snide shambled, more than arrived on stage and began a with guitarist Pete Fitzpatrick playing the euphonium and then the banjo, at the same time! This set the scene for a night much of quirkiness and anyone who turned up expecting a four piece of bass, drums, guitar and vocals playing their favorite songs was in for a shock. Looking like the type of college geeks Bill Gates would be proud of, these boys had obviously not just sat in front of their computers in their bedrooms, oh no, they seem to have hatched an art-rock master plan. Instruments were discarded, picked up again, then bashed with abandon. From a triangle to kettle drums and what looked like Frankenstein’s Stratocaster to the most gaffa-taped acoustic guitar in the world were paraded through the 90 minute non-stop set. Only lightly picking from the rather fantastic recent album End of Love in favour of what bordered on experimental ideas at times, Clem Snide plucked some obscure back catalogue tunes such as I Love the Unknown alongside new tracks destined for their next record. For new tune Pray for Unbelievers, lead singer Eef Barzelay had the crowd chanting the title in a loop for a full 7 minutes while ranting and rattling to the rhythm. Once it was done he declared “you Welsh sing much better than those English bastards”, and he was probably right. Half way through the set, Eef took time out to do some songs on his own, beginning by telling “the dirtiest joke in the world” (which I dare not repeat for fear of the site being closed!) before launching into the single Fill Me With Your Light. A cover of Talking Heads Heaven was nicely reworked in the set which included highlights of Jews for Jesus Blues, German Hip Hop and Elvis Looking for his Long Lost Twin. The latter a request from the audience. Weird and mostly wonderful, the Barfly crowd seemed to take the band to their hearts and judging by the merchandise stall CD sales, a number of converts were ordained into the Church of Clem on the night.