Review: Bishop Allen at Bardens Boudoir

So after the fail-worthy cancellation of the lunchtime instore I was pretty excited to finally see one of my favourite bands play. But not before a trek of Lord Of The Rings-esque proportions.

I know I am bad at finding places, it’s completely normal for me to get lost. So I went to meet Adam so he could guide us there. It took us 2 hours of walking to find the venue. TWO HOURS. This isn’t that bad, but it is when you haven’t eaten anything apart from a nutella sandwich and £1 pasta pot since 9am. We basically walked past the venue and then had to come back.

There were two support acts, but I’ll skip ahead to the main event. I really love Bishop Allen alot. They have a new album out this year called Grrr.... I was wondering how much old stuff they would play, but I was very happy with the setlist. The News From Your Bed is the song for me, my favourite, the special one. I didn’t think they would play it, and they didn’t, so it wasn’t a surprise. They did a nice mix of Grrr… and The Broken String, and even a few from Charm School. Justin was really energetic and bouncy and the whole band seemed to be having a huge amount of fun. There wasn’t any in-between song chat, but that was fine because it meant more songs. 

They opened with a few of the new songs including Cue The Elephants, but I have to say, set highlight for me was the killer chunk of Broken String songs in the middle. They did Monitor and Rain, and then my favourite pair of the night – Like Castanets followed by a beautiful rendition of Butterfly Nets from Darbie. Click Click Click Click was also a huge amount of fun. In the song inviting me to click click click click my shutter, I didn’t actually take any photos. I had a great time hearing this brilliant music and singing along, such a great band. They did Busted Heart (!) from Charm School, which was amusing because that song is bizarre (in a good way, of course). The band were buffed out to a five piece, which included former We Are Scientists drummer Michael Tapper. Justin’s guitar strap had owls on it, which reminded me of Alessi’s owl-based guitar strap. They closed their 15 song set with Middle Management. After some cheering they returned for a 3 song encore. They did a cover which I didn’t know, Penitentiary Bound and closed with Flight 180.

It was a brilliant set, I loved it hugely and I would highly recommend going to see them live, even if you have to walk two hours to get there. GO!

Here is their Myspace.

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3 Responses to Review: Bishop Allen at Bardens Boudoir

  1. Paulo May 8, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    Sounds good. I’ve been quite enjoying Grrr… and their previous album seems nice (if mellower/less poppy) on Spotify. Am glad I didn’t rush to try and see their Pure Groove (cancelled set)- how long are PG lunchtime gigs normally?
    I really don’t like Barden’s- it’s too far north, and I don’t like the area, horrible travel, and silly wrong shaped venue. So yeah, I didn’t go. & they’re playing in Brixton Windmill on Sunday night, but won’t be able to make that either unfortunately. Maybe next time. Unless they do some festivals!

    • anikainlondon May 9, 2009 at 7:52 am #

      Pure Groove lunchtime sets are usually about 20 minutes, sometimes a little longer.

      I think Bardens is OK, just a pain to get to! I’m sure Bishop Allen will be back quite quickly so you should be able to catch them soon…

  2. bob May 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Ha ha…..Barden’s Boudoir – you’re not the first or last to have noticed it’s hard to find. Only been once but walked past it a couple of times before working out where it was. Nice venue if half full – apparently awful if sold out.

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