Geez – I haven’t written for ages...
Quickie then. This is the middle night of the 2011 Brussels Jazz Marathon, and the city is teaming. So much so that I managed to avoid anything remotely jazzy and had a proper rockin’ neet oot instead.
Live Music Café
Despite my rushing out, SoundXS are already half way through their set when I get there (Finish before the football…). This is the first time I’ve seen the new lineup, with Boods on guitar and Quentin on drums adding their skills to the established duo of Stéphane and Claire.
And it works. Despite the material being pretty much the same as the stuff they were playing when I last saw them when they were still just a duo, it really does come across better. The live drums (to a click) work well, and the guitar and bass work from Boods just lifts it beyond the tried and tested synthpop duo formula and gives it a new twist.
I still think Claire has at least another ½ an octave in her voice and should really use it to stick a bit more melody into the vocal lines. But given that she is starting to look rather pregnant, I can understand that the band will want to put their focus somewhere else for the next 6 months or so.
Hopefully, a comeback early next year and that long promised album release…
A fortuitous encounter with sitar player extraordinaire Simon Rigot suggests that I would next be heading to:
“Original and enchanting psychedelic rock”, they say about themselves. So what’s so original about yet another Brussels band who have their roots in the 60’s and have a gimmick like a sitar?
Well, they rock. They rock like its 1969. They rock like Punk never happened. They rock like Bowie, Pink Floyd or The Beatles of the end of the 60’s. They rock like I had shoulder length hair again, prancing round a field stoned out of my skull stripped of all worldly worries like clothes and such.
But this is Churchills, so the band is crammed into a corner barely big enough for a drumkit, and the vocal sound is not quite – how can I put it? - tip-top. But the performance is. They have a strict no-covers policy, and quite frankly, the material is good enough for a cover to be out of place and out of spirit. And the audience, despite being pretty much left over from the earlier footie match are absolutely lapping it up.
Originality? Well most bands who try to do this sort of stuff are nothing more than a poor pastiche of former glories. The Daffodils are anything but. They don’t need originality. And that in itself, combined with songs that are new to the world, is what is so refreshing about them.
They have no trouble getting decent gigs in and around Brussels, so rather than waffle on about the sitar, I’ll just say watch out for them and go & see them. They are nothing short of brilliant.