All Us Authors may have a slight tongue twister of a name, still be at college and are happy for their mums to dance at their gigs, but don’t underestimate them; they are clearly an ambitious group with the swagger and talent of a band going places.
Based in the Glastonbury area, but with plans to move to London, they are already regular performers in small local venues, including the Pilton Working Men’s Club, which is the local of Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis and within cow milking and stage diving distance of the festival site.
What was clear from the start, as they played tracks from their forthcoming EP and their debut EP Animal, was how accomplished they are musically with Animal tracks such as Murder in Chaos particularly on the money tonight.
Arctic Monkeys appear a key influence for the band, especially when hearing lead singer Dan Nixon’s deliberately distorted vocals. But after two or three songs it became clear their influences are far more eclectic, with the likes of Joy Division and Foals being muttered among the crowd. Late 1970s Athens, Georgia, band Pylon are another that sprung to mind, with their similar jerky combination of new wave, punk and funk.
Key to their success is Nixon, who on stage regularly swiped back his quiff as he gazed at the half full venue with a sheepish smile at times, a piercing glare at others. He’s the real deal as lead singers go, cool as you like and with so much genuine stage presence that he even looked good dancing with the mums at the front and stepping off stage to rearrange the lighting himself.
As I left the venue I noticed Nixon was at the back chatting to Michael Eavis. Discussing their set list at this year’s festival perhaps? According to their Facebook page they are in the frame for a slot at the festival, which could prove to be the perfect springboard they need to reach a wider audience outside of Somerset.
Support was provided by Somerset based singer songwriter Nick Parker, playing tonight as Nick Parker and the False Alarms, the band he has just finished a tour of Germany with. Usually a solo performer it is rare that he plays locally with a full band and this gig gave the Somerset crowd a welcome chance to see what Germany has been treated to.
Tracks from his debut album King of False Alarms and forthcoming release are engaging enough when performed solo but really benefited from the full band sound. Dave Little’s 1939 lap steel and John Steer’s guitar work were particularly impressive as was the added stomp provided by Sam Boughen’s drumming and Tom Granville’s bass.
Metaphor, from King of False Alarms and about parenthood, as well as Never Been To Dublin, about hearing the music of Ireland as a boy through his older brother’s bedroom door, were among a number of highlights. Perhaps most impressive of all was their version of Hier Kommt Alex by Die Toten Hosen, sung by Parker in German.
by Joe Lepper