‘HULL ADELPHI.’ 1/ 10/ 02.
THE MISSHAPEN collective is the weirdest of entities. Largely a Fonda 500 side-project with Simon on keyboard, Ian on drums as always and Bod on bass, the epic instrumental stage show is powered along by lead guitarist Jez Riley, and subtly backed by ‘Adelphi’-regular Tom on guitar for scuzzier measure. Jez has long been striving to promote true experimentalism in his own and other peoples’ music and often shrouds himself under the CAPRA moniker when playing solo, and once collaborated with The Edible 5ft Smiths’ Matt and Tom – who has since left the band – when said musicians performed for one-night-only as ‘Jean Arthur Smith.’ He once said, and I paraphrase, that he can do anything with a guitar – just not play it properly! But as dynamics waxed on and waxed off, Jez proved he’s a stunningly accomplished guitarist, pummeling fantastic melodies into the backing noise created by the fearless Fonda creators of fascination. And with Jez, the set always swaggers slowly-but-purely to a monumental and happily deafening peak of raw guitar power that rocks the very foundations of genuine originality in music. Jez Riley is a genius. An absolute genius.
When you want a day off work you aren’t allowed one. And then you’re forced by your boss to hurry up and take your holidays in one mighty cluster when he realises he’s bolloxed up the timesheets. And, whatcha know, some more geniuses then invaded the stage, announced they were KID SAMSON (named after a ‘Catch 22’ character), and that they had landed and were here to rape and pillage mediocrity in music. Singer Mark ain’t a stranger to fronting hugely-popular Hull bands after his stint with the acclaimed Summerbee who have since disappeared, simultaneously wafting his glo-stick above-head with one hand while thigh-slapping a tambourine with his other. Oh and he sings with northern soul, treading clever lines from the sur-reality of set-starter for 10 points, ‘Don’t Touch The Eggs,’ through to their staple ‘Fat Man’ love anthem (‘Why would the birds and bees lie to me?’) that seals proceedings with a rocky finale. To the untrained ear these 6 kids could be cast off as a late-arrival indie band, but listen… and you will revel.
As if the former 2 sets hadn’t been inspiring enough, this mammoth celebration that was The Adelphi Music Club’s 18th Birthday had to be… it just had to be rounded off with an inevitably classic performance from one of the owner Paul Jackson’s fave bands, FONDA 500. They are a band he has long championed for being so intelligent yet unadulterated, so loud and thrilling and yet so sweet and lo-fi, so rough-hewn yet so silky smooth. They are everything, my everything, and so many people’s everything. They look good, they gel together as a band great, and the songs are like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Frontman Simon rarely ventures centre-stage these days without his black furry ears, retorting to a request for ‘Super Chimp’ by quipping ‘nah, don’t do it anymore!’ Recent single ‘Computer Freaks of The Galaxy’ is so gorgeous I’d happily have it cranked out at my wake, while ‘Orson’ is a song anyone with taste in anything alternative has to hear… creeping from charming beginnings to its cracking, soul-powered chorus. Both Ian and Bod are also permanent Edible 5ft Smiths drum and bass providers (while Ian is also the mainman of t he great Elly Lake and Bod the mainstay of foxy femme fatales Harvey), which - as Matt ‘Edible’ Thompson succinctly professed - ensures healthy intra-band incest is high on the agenda.
Far from the man pulling the strings behind the venue’s independent success since 1984, ‘Jacko,’ what followed Fonda’s ‘Jiro’ was an impromptu sing-a-long to ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Yes, the charity behemoth which was coincidentally penned back in 1984 and recreated tonight via Simon’s Minidisc and vocal efforts from various Hull band members, with Simon playing Boy George, Matt Edible doing Sting and a ghost-drummer hiding behind the amassed mugs muscling-in on Phil Collins’ bashful drum solo.
So, what a night. And what bands. So, remember their names. (SR)