heard on the wire

I’m really talking to myself

Gents

Every band should have a toilet song, that one moment in the live set when you say to yourself, “I don’t really like this one”, and toddle off to the loo.

After several pints, what else can you do?

Until recently this was my pattern. Sink some decent pints before the gig, a few bad ones inside then wait, increasingly uncomfortably for the toilet song, a track from the disappointing last LP perhaps.

Things improved slightly when I moved to Newcastle. The venues got smaller, hence a shorter walk to the restrooms. However, with venues such as the Cluny serving good beer, those trips are necessarily frequent.

Then I discovered that teaching and driving to work are not wholly compatible with late nights and pints. This discovery coincided with a couple of gigs, the Wedding Present at the aforementioned Cluny and Allo Darlin’ at the nearby Star and Shadow Cinema. I took the car. And I only had one drink. So I didn’t need a toilet song. Which was wholly fortunate because Allo Darlin’ don’t really have one and the whole experience was a revelation. Driving to gigs — who’d’ve thought‽

I learnt something else too. All Darlin’s singer isn’t Irish, as I’d thought, she’s Australian. I could’ve sworn she sounded Irish. I remember this because I wasn’t drunk; I’d had just the one bottle of Shot Pit, which you don’t want to order when you are. And having been sober, I can with complete veracity tell you that Allo Darlin’s were just as good as I had hoped, which means they were fantastic from beginning to end, toilet song neither expected nor necessary.

This is the title track from their third and most recent LP.

Allo Darlin’ // We Come From the Same Place

Supporting at that gig were Making Marks, the Norwegian four-piece formally known as My Little Pony. They feature on the latest EardrumsPop compilation, which celebrates the online label’s fifth anniversary. It’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from the label, a lovely collection of lovely pop songs that won’t cost you a penny. If ever the expression “no brainer” were justified….

Making Marks // Breakthrough // EardrumsPop

Coincidentally, this is probably my favourite track on the compilation. Laura K sounds like she could be a blend of country queen Laura Cantrell and Scottish post-punkers, and Kafka fans, Josef K, which would be awesome. But in fact she’s perfectly awesome in her own right, as this charming little tune perfectly demonstrates.

Set ukelele to strum!

Laura K // Darlin’ // EardrumsPop

Laura also plays and sings in Tigercats, who released their second LP earlier this year.

Tigercats // Wheezer

I know what you’re thinking, but the Weezer that did that Buddy Holly song had slightly different spelling, as you can see. Still, rude not to, for the singalong chorus if nothing else.

Weezer // Buddy Holly

Add this to the fact that the Allo Darlin’ LP includes a track called Crickets in the Rain, and there’s only one place to finish, in 1957.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets // An Empty Cup (and a Broken Date) // iTunes

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Photo: Gents; some rights reserved.

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