Seafront Kids Ahoy!

The Maccabees, Red Track, Caleb @ Chinnerys, Southend, Essex
12th May 2007

After a slight delays with work, trains and tickets I found myself on Southend seafront rather late, not to say that I actually missed anything however. Chinnerys is another a venue much along the lines of the excellent Concord2 in Brighton. Like Concord it’s right opposite the sea, small capacity, built under the road above, but it also inherited the incredibly annoying support poles right in your line of sight.

So to band #1 and Caleb. These were a dreamy trio of shoegaze soundscopic bongo drumming acoustic slingers looking like a pair of tree huggers and their foxy friend. The female lead vocals were strong but ultimately pointless, as the dreamy sounds put half the ‘indie scenester’ crowd into a hypnotic stare. I actually didn’t think they were that bad myself, some interesting melodies and song structures. However they and their bill bailey look-alike bongo basher, should try plying their trade more at a certain medieval stone formation to get a really attentive crowd assembled.

Red Track is a band who fully justified the 16+ age on the door, as they probably wouldn’t have been let in otherwise. These teenage tearaways follow the current indie formula that has worn off for me of late, but these kids weren’t bad. Vocally the singer/guitarist sound like a Californian pop-punker who has taken up residence in Essex. Still they need an extra dimension to make a splash in the endless sea of new uk indie bands, a dedicated lead guitarist would help. At least the sprightly crowd sparked into life.

It was the turn of Brighton based The Maccabees to make their appearance and they got straight on with playing exact replicas of tracks from their forthcoming album, Colour It In. The lack of a live spark was evident early set, but I was kept amused by the lead guitarist who looked like a stoned Frodo Baggins. The spark was finally ignited after a couple of mellow introvert tracks which sounded raw and honest. From here they found their feet and played a couple of great tracks including X-Ray which finished off the set in blistering fashion. With no encore I was left thinking of what might have been an excellent gig rather than the distinctly ordinary one it was.

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