|THE GIN CLUB, MEXICO CITY, EDWARD GUGLIELMINO, LION ISLAND|
|THE ZOO: 27.11.09
It’s a strangely quiet start to The Gin Club’s first proper hometown show in quite a while. To a smattering of attendees, local up-and-comers Lion Island kick off their set. Eight members strong and incorporating banjo, double bass, ukulele, trumpet and violin into their line-up – along with some well orchestrated gang vocals – the group’s songs take a simple theme and layer it, building in rising waves that drop off again. Half the band leaves the stage for the stark ‘Aurora Borealis’ before returning for a self described “token bluegrass” tune.
Neighbourhood enigma, dancin’ Edward Guglielmino is up next, the twanging reverb’d and glittering guitar, coupled with Ed’s sweet and low voice necessitates inclusion on a John Huges film’s soundtrack. Cure and Smiths-type melodies, sans posturing, soaring vocal harmonies and booming stadium pop manage to distract from the fact that Ed’s guitar strap is on backwards (who does that?). Midway through the set the band brings the noise to a heavier number, and the whole thing is bloody lovely.
Mexico City benefit from The Zoo’s open space and decent noise levels, crashing in with the jungle drum stomp of ‘Raised An Empire’, which gets a few enterprising lasses dancing. From Brown Bird the song ‘Ghetto’ slows the pace down and eases into ‘When You Say You Love Me (I Don’t Believe You)’. The fellas drop a couple of covers: Lefty Frizzell’s country ballad ‘Long Black Veil’ and Elvis Costello’s ‘Watching The Detectives’.
By the time The Gin Club hits the stage attendance has swelled to a more respectable size, with Adrian Stoyles leading out of the gate for the opener and the following ‘Heartbreaker’. From the get go it’s a mostly loud set from the Ginners tonight, filled with the typical instrument swapping madness that the band has become known for, though when the gentle beard of Conor Macdonald steps up to the mic it’s invariably a more sensitive point of the set. Scott Regan gets down with tambourine, and the glorious epic ‘Ten Paces Away’ reminds the crowd that for all of the band’s folksier leanings, they do also know how to rock the fuck out. Mr Stoyles takes the front again for the obtuse lyrics of new single ‘Rain’, followed by Mr Ben Salter charging into Junk’s ‘Gas Guzzler and Gin Club classics ‘Wylde Bitch’ and ‘Drugflowers’.