Day two of the big weekend at The Talking Heads got started earlier than I might have expected. Indeed, so much earlier that I am ashamed to say I missed the majority of the set from old-school rockers Rob Ford. What I did catch of their set thoroughly impressed me though, to the point that I may have to track their future performances in the hope that I can get the full experience.
A vodka-tinged energy drink later, and it was noticeably quieter for the second night of music. This did, however, give me an opportunity to appreciate the establishment for what it has become, and hopefully gave the staff and punters an insight into how the Heads might be looking on a ‘regular’ night. The busy opening was a baptism of fire for some of the young bar workers, so it’s fair to say that they weren’t looking quite as tired by the end of their shift this time. Owners Martin and Guy have covered even the finest details, as I was pleasantly surprised to have a bowl of peanuts placed in front of me when I decided to take my spot at the bar for the evening.
Next to take the stage were five-man Accrington Stanley. This band has a rich history in the area, having formed in 1986 and still maintaining two of its forming members. I found it difficult to place a label on their genre; years of gigging for this band have clearly enabled them to build a large, eclectic discography. Some songs in their set had an obvious Britpop vibe to them, while others embraced more folky and sometimes even punk-esque roots as singer Dan O’Farrell switched from acoustic to electric guitar, then to tambourine, and then back again. At one point the guitarist even abandoned his instrument and began playing a cello. Though frankly, it seemed somewhat unnecessary as it was drowned out by the other instruments. Nonetheless, this band proved to be hugely talented, using all their years of musical experience to please the crowd.
After a short intermission it was local legends The Morphic Fields who were playing. Having seen this band several times before, I knew what to expect from the slick funk-rockers. My friend Paul, however, did not; I think it’s fair to say that he, along with everyone else, was blown away. Even now, I’m still impressed by the power and range of vocalist Dan Baker. Quite frankly, if you haven’t seen this band yet, I strongly recommend that you get down to one of their gigs. It’s hard to sum up in words how impressive they can be when they are on top form, and Saturday night they did not disappoint. Finally we had Missing Citizen. The out-of-towners made the short journey from Portsmouth to play this gig, and their brand of aggressive rock capped the evening off quite nicely. Though it’s not my favourite style of music, I did find myself nodding my head along at half beat pace. An excellent choice of band to close yet another excellent night at The Talking Heads.
Until this point I’ve not really had an opportunity to mention the surprise star at the moment — the toilets. Anyone who has been to the Heads prior to its unfortunate closure earlier this year will not be disappointed to see the grim water-closets gone. I have been so impressed with them that on Saturday night I had to sneak in and get a photo while I knew they were vacant, just to share their magnificence.
Check back for more reviews of shows at The Talking Heads in its first week back in action since its closure. The Edge will have all the previews, reviews and updates, as and when they unfold!