live review for the skinny
Just three days after the release of gentle second album Rescue Weekend, Y'all Is Fantasy Island (***) are ignoring all its songs in favour of rocking out, with known crowd-pleasers, like the brilliant With Handclaps, and songs from upcoming third LP No Ceremony, out in October. Before tonight's show, songwriter Adam Stafford told The Skinny that will be a "punk rock" record - emphasise the "rock" - but at this stage the new songs aren't entirely convincing: for every storm-kicking Cooper Temple Clause-style guitar wigout, there's a less exciting follow-up that gives little indication of this band's true abilities.
Broken Records' (****) supposedly acoustic set is really just lacking a bass player, so it's hardly quiet, with a violin, cello, trumpet, accordion and two guitars squeezing onto the tiny stage. Even still, it could be louder, as the gig is almost ruined by backroom chatter from disinterested socialites. A handful of new songs, from an EP just weeks away, further demonstrate this band's knack for polka-footed dramatics, and their immediate appeal suggests a pop sensibility that should take these guys places. But even if they achieve nothing else, they're sure to win fame and fortune by selling The Slow Parade to Hollywood; it will soundtrack a conclusion, a community hall dance where the adventurous lead couple will finally kiss, everyone will cheer, old ladies will weep, and the credits will roll. Every sensitive soul in the world will love it, miserable critics will melt like witches from Oz, and those still nattering away at the back will miss it all. As Sharon Stone might ask, is that karma?