Review: The Ballet @ The Luminaire

The first gig of the year. And it was a good one! Especially considering I knew nothing of the bands before I saw them. It was a random buy, tickets were £7 and it was at the lovely lovely Luminaire. Plus, I like the lighting at the Luminaire. And I like the alliteration I can do with the Luminaire.

I’ve been walking/cycling outside several times during the daytime this past week, and every time I thought it wasn’t that cold. With all the talk in the papers and news I was expecting to see icebergs in the road or something. Well, tonight it was that cold. I saw icebergs and people who had fallen and died of hypothermia. I wished I had some gloves/a scarf/a hat/a decent coat. I wasn’t outside for that long so it wasn’t so bad.

I got to the Luminaire at 7.40 and took a seat in the handy little alcove by the side of the stage that has become my favourite place to sit. There were signs pinned up everywhere asking people to not sit on the floor for this show because it was going to be very busy and they needed all the floor space they could get. The songs they were playing on the sound system weren’t that great, during the whole evening I only recognized/liked two of them: Parenthetical Girls- A Song For Ellie Greenwich and Patrick Wolf- Accident and Emergency. While sitting there I also noticed the stamp on my hand that the admissions person did, it said ‘loved’, I thought it was a cute stamp.  As the first band, Pocketbooks, readied themselves to start, a photographer came over to say hi, he had recognized me from the Vivian Girls show.  We didn’t have time to expand this conversation further as the band to to the stage.

Pocketbooks are a London band with boy/girl vocals who make fun indie pop that sounds like it came from Sweden (but with English accents). They were very cheerful and urged the audience to click and clap along to their songs. I recommend heading to their Myspace and listening to Falling Leaves. The alternating vocals and upbeat tempo make the song alot of fun. It’s very poppy. The male part of the boy/girl vocals, Andy Hudson, mentioned a London Popfest. I had previously known nothing of this, but I’ve found out some information now. Unfortunately for me, it clashes with the busy busy week I have lined up in February, it’s four days and four venues with nineteen bands all for £15. I can make the Saturday and Monday days, so I’ll have to wait to see if they release individual day tickets. You can find out some more information about the mini festival here. Pocketbooks also have a show at the Buffalo Bar tonight. I recommend catching them if you get the chance.

The room had filled up a bit by now. The audience was very very eclectic. I felt young, alot of the audience were a couple of decades older than me. It was really fun to see all these completely different people dancing and having a great time. It wasn’t long before Help Stamp Out Loneliness came on. More indie pop, this time from Manchester. The singer, pictured above, had alot of stage confidence, I mean just look at that sparkly shiny dress. The band were fun, they all seemed to be having a good time (especially the drummer).

After a short change over The Ballet came on. The Ballet have one of those annoying names that makes finding anything out about them a challenge. The band are from New York and are, fitting with the evening, a pop band. Their myspace URL says they are a sissy pop band, to be precise. Looking over their press I can see that they are frequently compared to the Magnetic Fields and Belle and Sebastian. This was their London debut and they managed to sell out the venue. I didn’t know much (or anything) about the band but really enjoyed the set. I recognized a few of the songs from their Myspace player. The band played as a three piece and made a nice full sound. They did a cover of Manic Monday which was very enjoyable. They played for about forty minutes before they ‘left the stage’ (they didn’t really, they just all went and stood in the corner) and then came back for an encore. The audience were clearly loving them, and the band said to hang around after the show and dance with them.

I braved the cold and made it back to halls at a reasonable time. Unfortunately Tesco and Sainsbury’s both shut at 11, and I had no food and was hungry. To conclude, it was a good show. I particularly recommend Pocketbooks. There were lots of other photographers there, one had an absolutely giant lens. Hopefully their pictures will surface too. A good first show of the year.

, , , , , ,

4 Responses to Review: The Ballet @ The Luminaire

  1. bob January 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Ha ha ….”a couple of decades older than you” – welcome to the indiepop world!
    Nice review and photos.
    I saw the woman with the giant lens too – what was all that about????? Will be interesting to see her photos.
    Did you not recognise the Pet Shop Boys the DJ played? Perhaps you have to be as old as us :)

  2. anikainlondon January 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks Bob :) Love your shots too, I’ll put a link up to your site in a minute. Hehe I am intrigued to see the the shots from that giant lens, my friend calls it “eyebrow photography”.

  3. Tom January 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Yep the London indie pop world is made up of us 1980′s veterans and the people who are getting into the same sounds today. A nice jolly mix if you ask me. Oh and Bob is old. Makes me look young…..

    PS. Do a search for indietracks as well Anika. The LOndon Pop Fest on a bigger stage and erm steam trains!!!

  4. anikainlondon January 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    Indietracks looks awesome, thanks for the heads up Tom!

Leave a Reply