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:: Golden Glow ::
08 June 2010 / Night & Day / Manchester
By Cath Aubergine

Good grief, it must be 20 years since I've even thought about the Bodines! Yes folks, the Summer Of Indiepop - the biggest since 1986 and that scene-defining/suffocating (delete as applicable) NME tape - is officially upon us, somewhere out there The Pooh Sticks have reformed in anticipation, and if you listen very carefully you might just hear Steven Wells spinning in his grave. One of the last music-based pieces filed by the legendarily splenetic ranter recommended sending Los Campesinos! to Guantanamo as he waged his one-man battle against any music he considered "twee" right to the end; thing is the bands always (secretly) liked it, so there should probably be a line here about losing a fight with half a lettuce or something. But then there's nothing sadder than writers trying to be Swells who really aren't, and either way that's not my style. Anyway GOLDEN GLOW are no softies. It wasn't that long ago Pierre Hall was walking round town on crutches after a fight with a moving vehicle. And three songs in their set comes to an abrupt halt as they manage to blow up one of the venue's monitors. Suck on that, so-called punk rockers!

There is indeed a golden glow around the Night & Day stage - courtesy of a lamp in a suitcase perched on the front speakers. And the warmth of the lovely guitar pop that follows means this could possibly be the most self-descriptively named band since, um, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts. Whether it's his brush with death or just the passage of time, Hall's songwriting has matured since the uber-jangly Lead Balloons days, thankfully without losing the wonderful indie-pop sensibilities on which it's based; these days there's just a little less sugar and a little more texture. A song called "The Cure" has a Lloyd Cole feel to it; classically and indeed classily melodic, uplifting with just a sprinkling of melancholy. And the band - effectively an updated Lead Balloons with a substitution or two - fill out the sound unobtrusively and perfectly the way The Go-Betweens used to. It's rather annoying that the aforementioned equipment failure - not of their doing at all, really - means that by midway through track three there's a rather nasty electrical burning smell and by the end of it a "smoke-machine" they very much didn't intend. Eventually they make it back on for another two tunes, a bit Pastels, a bit Field Mice, and thus - in their rather 1986-ish way - as 2010 as it comes.

They come highly recommended: The Drums' Jacob Graham fell in love with their demo before they'd even played a gig. They've done three or four now, the last of which was supporting said band-of-the-moment at a special NME gig down in London last night. Suffice to say you will probably be hearing quite a bit about them.

Golden Glow

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