Just made it back from the Strange Fruit festival. I must admit that the gig was a complete sensation. I guess partly due to the fact I had not been to a small scale gig for years. The Spitz is a great little venue, spacious, decent raised stage and good sound to boot. Got there early when only a few dozen people were around. They missed Airport Girl who were really good, well they must be being from Scotland, good songs and a nice style about them. In many ways you can say there is nothing really inventive about them, just general Indie-pop but it has to be done well. That was a great start to the night. The Dudley Corporation fused many things together but one thing for sure they had to be loud. The guitarist was thrashing his guitar with some. Although a good show with nice moments in their songs they were not for me.
When Melys came on it was getting pretty packed. I like Melys and was expecting something great. I wasn't disappointed. The vocals were outstanding and the band were on top form. Even the hitting of the road sign and beer keg was great. I wasn't prepared for the huge amount of pre-programmed synths and keyboards though. It meant that they went through the set with much efficiency. Overall a sensational performance. After this I my eardrums were tickled with delight. I couldn't wait for the BMX Bandits to come on. Talking to Duglas for a brief few moments I did sense a little nervousness. Having not played a gig for 6 years I guess you might feel that. Also with only Gabriel and Francis being the only regulars from band (the reminder of the lineup were from Speeder and a student) it must have made for some nice rehearsals.
For me what I saw for the next hour and fifteen minutes was a truly excellent performance from a great showman. Duglas has the time to explain songs to the audience in an unintentional humerous manner and to interact with them (handing out biscuits from a fan and congratulating a couple who had just got married). The crowd consisted of mainly C86 era veterans who are now in their late 20's and 30's. I was just amazed I knew all the lyrics to the old songs and was able to sing along even though I haven't heard much of the back catalogue for a good half a year. They did play a few new tunes including Mailbox which is on a new tribute album and Miss Black America on their forthcoming new album. They show no signs of giving up the age old formula of writing great songs about love and friendships. Let's not forget that Francis and Gabriel were all part of this too, the other members were playing in amazement to what was going on. There were the odd bum note and missed key but that was all part of it and didn't make the night any less than it was, I would have thought it added to the performance. It's all part of learning and they may become part of the next generation Bandit. As Duglas said, Kylie has made a come back and so have The Bandits. It was a shame that Kylie's Got A Crush On Us wasn't played but the finale of Witchi Tai To more than made up for that. The BMX Bandits just keep getting better with age. Will see you there next time.
I am still playing the gig through my mind at the moment. Definitely the best weekend I 've had since I moved to Bath. There's not going to be many of these in future when the workloads are even greater I tell you.