Songbird Club night gets busted
The Man comes down heavy on the folkies
(Photos/words © urban75, 7th February 2007)
This was certainly a first for me: I was in the Songbird folkie club in Richmond Road, Dalston tonight and two cops charged in, started taking pictures and declared the evening closed because of overcrowding and - get this - being "too loud".
What kind of fucker could possibly complain about the noise from a *folk* club? At 11.30pm? In Dalston? In an industrial zone!
I blame the gentrifiers!
Where the bands play is fantastic - like a big comfy living room - and you'll certainly not be kept wanting on the arty farty scale.
First on was an old bearded Scots poet who kind of made grumbling och-aye Gaelic noises interspersed with a funny observational humour. We liked him.
Next up was Lindsey Woolsey who would have been extremely listenable if it wasn't for her laptop-toting chum insisting on making her voice sound like it was coming from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, while a selection of art-house "joing! Brrrr!" noises rumbled forth from the Mac.
There were moments - when the art-o-meter cranked down for a bit - where the music bordered on beautiful, like a collision between traditional folk and electronica.
Next up was LA rawk chick who strutted, miaowed and extroverted her way through downsized stadium ballads while her 'Dave'-like guitarist imagined he was playing for The Faces.
Amusingly inappropriate for the venue, things looked up when a banjo player came on to join them, but his low-in-the-mix picking couldn't shake off the big hair sounds.
Towards the end of their set, the band weirdly metamorphised into a completely different outfit, with the addition of a laptop-flippin' rockabilly rapper who then led us through some of the most excruciatingly bad rap we'd ever heard.
The fact that he was reading his words from a sheet of paper didn't help, but his misguided Walrus Of Love-esque "uh-huhs" and "that's right" interjections took us firmly into Spinal Rap territory.
OK, I may have been a little harsh on the bands (!), but that's part of the fun of the night. It's a great night out and well worth a visit.
Just as were waiting for the main band to come on, the Old Bill steamed in with a firm instruction to get the folk out of the place.