Thursday, February 02, 2006

Monday night at the Pawn Shop

Monday night down the pawn shop. To be more exact, a very fun kind of pawn shop, with DJs, a comedy effervescent public schoolboy compere with a furry tail doing dodgy karaoke, a lo-fi singer-songwriter called Marc Meon, tombola, a jumble sale selling customised plates and old trainers and best of all, south east London's finest psychadelic popsters The Shortwave Set!

Ever since I picked up a copy of their debut album The Debt Collection last year, I've been surprised that they haven't caught on like some of their tuneful poppy contemporaries like The Magic Numbers, but their time may well come. They've got some higher profile support slots, but for now, they're doing their lovely tuneful stuff down at the Soho Arts Club for a few shows. And it's all good. Playing in the corner of what's effectively a large living room with a bar, at one end, it 's the perfect dingy smoky atmosphere to get aquainted with their charms.

I've loved them ever since I saw them supporting The Earlies last year, 'Is it any wonder' was one of my fave tunes of 2005 with its insanely catchy piano riffs. But the rest of their stuff ain't bad either. They're very much like Saint Etienne minus the disco stylings, and with a big dose more sixties retro. You just have to look at the lead singer to see that!

Anyway, they played pretty much all of The Debt Collection, with the mass singalong 'Better than Bad' and new single 'Repeat to Fade' being particular highlights. And another mass singalong, this time the chorus to 'Hey Jude' to accompany the noisy end of 'In Your Debt' rounded things off nicely to propel us sweaty into Soho's mercifully cold streets.

More pics

Honestly, I couldn't get any pictures without that guy's bald head. It was crowded in there!

Download a copy of the new single from here or here.

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