Simon and ElizaI like my electronica old school even if it is fake old school. Simon Mills plays gentle beats reminiscent of Bent’s lilting orchestral twiddling back when Bent were good. Layered on top, and with a crisp clarity that cries ‘look at me’, Eliza Wren Payne sings with the enthusiasm of a young girl who just discovered she can hold a note . . . lots of them. Looking like Sigourney Weaver during her bald period and with an accent so mom-and-pop-apple-pie you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve ended up in an episode of The Waltons, it’s no bold prediction to say that more of the UK will soon be benefitting from this striking Utah import.

The crowd — here as part of Levis Ones to Watch season — was soon swelling. Being late though has disadvantages. Having just missed one of the most original acts I’ve seen in a while what the trendy Hoxtonites needed was a lift. Alas, none was forthcoming.

Pity Story One. Beset by sound and stage problems they struggled to get through to an audience mostly there for another act. Their morose form of drone-folk didn’t help too much either. But then I suppose if droning folk and relentlessly oppressive lyrics with nary a happy smile is your bag then you might have enjoyed it. The contrast with the final act was sharp.

Playing so loud that the front two rows nearly disintegrated, Broken Records arrived with literally a blast. Once the audience had receded into the Macbeth’s dingy interior it became possible to appreciate the seven-piece for the fine new act they are. It takes real skill to combine folky things like mandolins and cellos with rock n’ roll and get away without sounding twee — Broken Records manage it with style. They may have none of the smooth sheen and polished production of Aberfeldy, but the Edinburgh band still sound distinctly Scottish, all the more so for the pound of grit shovelled into every song. Glasvegas watch out.


2 Comments so far

  1. Simon Mills on March 13, 2009 2:24 pm

    “Back when bent were good”

    Spot on 🙂

  2. Mrs Fox on April 11, 2009 10:57 pm

    It was so good it was like drinking moonbeams and rainbows…

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