David Thomas Broughton – The Cookie – November 22nd 2017

My good friend Paul Champion sent me a lovely review of a gig he went to in November. 

That sentence might be understood in a couple of ways. For clarity, Paul went to a gig in November and he also sent me a review in that month. Sonic Breakfast has been disappointingly tardy in publishing Paul’s efforts. For that, I apologise.

Here’s his fine review. I get a sense that he liked the gig.

The Cookie is on High Street, Leicester. The bar is at ground floor level and the venue is down in the cellar.

David Thomas Broughton is here early, with his partner and toddler.

Adam Weikert is first on stage. He plays keyboard with effects and occasional acoustic guitar. Adam has a beard, a bun and glasses, and a nice line in self-deprecation. He has a hesitant piano style, with chanting, which sounds like church music. There are children’s voices and birdsong, too. He has a system of switching lights on and off, so that we know when a song has finished and we can applaud. He’s good. In places his songs have a whisper of The Incredible String Band. He finishes with a song about suicide, called Rope.

Next on is Peter Wyeth. There’s still only a handful of people here. He plays acoustic guitar on a loop, sometimes with a stick. It’s intense and twiddly. He probably works with computers.

David Thomas Broughton is from Yorkshire. His consonants are hard. His voice is deep and high at the same time. The sweetest voice, but at the same time reminiscent of the brilliant Jake Thackray. He challenges. He makes you feel uncomfortable. He sings beautiful acoustic folk songs and disrupts them with blasts of noise from an effects pedal. He does weird body language, pulling at his trousers in a frottage kind of way, and patting his belly. He grabs at things that aren’t there. He takes his phone out of his pocket and concentrates on it while there’s a loop playing. Is he playing his mobile phone, or is he just playing with his mobile phone? He’s joined on stage by the two support acts, and a trombone player, and they form a band. He plays a gizmo like a Theremin. There’s no chat, no applause, it’s just one continuous number. Percussion comes from tapping pens on microphones and from the screw top of his drinks container. Before you can be an artist you have to be a craftsman. He knows his craft. Art is what artists do. Art makes you see things differently. This is art. Who can you say a genius is? Isaac Newton? Picasso? Townes Van Zandt? Not Bob Dylan. Not even Peter Hammill. David Thomas Broughton is a genius. Sirens. Love. Phew! Love.

A genuine encore. For 25 people who recognise his genius.

 

Sticky Fingers – The Cookie

Australia – I’m 100% convinced that one day when I decide to properly travel you’ll be high on my list.

I knew this before we had the British Invasion. It’s a slow burner of an invasion. Tokes get in the way. But, it’s no coincidence that my first ever blog post on Sonic Breakfast, when I was learning how to do this, was about Jagwar Ma.

And since then, I’ve effused about Courtney Barnett and Australian BBQ’s.

Tonight, I was invited to one venue in Leicester that might convince me to stay here longer than I probably should. Tinny, the venue owner at The Cookie is developing a place that Leicester should love. In the last couple of years, this venue has morphed, expanded and changed. It once specialised in stand up comedy and whilst that’s still a money maker for this enterprise, it now has space and ambition for the jokes to be a supporting actor.

A new 300 capacity venue opens soon next door to the current establishment under the Cookie’s management. This is exciting beyond belief and should further cement Leicester’s growing reputation on the touring map.

It was a free show tonight. I wish people were charged. A free gig hardens people. You know how fucking great the band are but you’re reticent to cheer, dance or unfold your arms because you’ve invested no dosh in it. Sticky Fingers were the band. Hailing from Sydney, they put on a show that was worth a fiver of anybody’s money. I suspect that in Australia, they could charge a whole lot more again.

Sticky Fingers specialise in a sort of laddish rock reggae. It’s a sound that’s probably born out of smoking a bit too much weed whilst listening to Hendrix and Marley. Amidst a stage of guitars (and keys & drums), shaggy hair and moustaches so dated that they’re incredibly cool, Sticky Fingers gave us 45 minutes of laidback, slacker swagger. To call it slacker isn’t to say that there wasn’t energy and effort on display here though because there was in abundance. No, this is a band that could give you three part harmonies without labouring the fact that this is what they were doing. This is a band that could sweat loads on stage but still look chilled. This is a band that should never be confused with the Rolling Stones tribute act that go by the same name. 

Uncomplicated cool. Music with confidence but without arsey, artistic pretense. When should I book my flight to Oz?