Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Les Savy Fav
The Comedy Pub, Bristol

The show started with a balding man in a hockey shirt giving out plastic flowers to members of the crowd, but now he appears to have other things on his mind. Right now, this balding, and it must be said, rather odd looking man in a hockey shirt is bouncing his way through the crowd on a chair back to the spot where, only moments before, he had left a mic stand hanging precariously from the ceiling before returning to the stage for his seat so he could sit in the crowd and sing while watching his band lurching around. That plan having been well and truly scuppered by such irrelevancies as physics and gravity, the audience are then invited to dance on the chair, while Tim Harrington, for it is he, clambers atop of his amp to address his public, “I want you all to turn to your neighbour and kiss them, boys and girls, boys and boys, girls and girls, open mouthed. What’s wrong with you, you all a bit shy in Bristol or something?”

Welcome then, to the live spectacular that is Les Savy Fav, contemporaries of the Make Up, but somewhat lacking the refined elegance and sophistication that is generally suggested by such a comparison. What we’re faced with is nearer to the Blonde Redhead having a fight with the Birthday Party and losing, or the Jesus Lizard if David Yow had grown out of the worrying habit of exposing his rectal cavity to the audience between songs.

As far as the songs go, it’s pretty shambolic from start to finish. From the looping beats and monotone French narration of ‘Intro’, to the jerky rhythms of ‘New Teen Anthem’ and ‘Hide Me From Next February’, everything is played at a such a frenetic pace that the songs merge together into one coalescent whole, full of staccato guitars and frantic drumming, as Tim Harrington runs through his cabaret act.

In lesser hands, this would have descended into a quagmire of fumbled songs and embarrassed looks, but not only are Les Savy Fav up to the challenge, they carry it off with such style and dignity, they leave you wondering why everyone can’t manage to be this compelling and entertaining.