Butcher Boy, My Sad Captains, Airport Girl, Kelman

Ross Drummond 17/03/2007

The Notting Hill Arts Club has the feeling of being part of something special, with its low ceilings, arty projections, trendy foreign beers, expensive whiskeys and clientele clad in berets and plaid shirts. With a handful of men in suits as well, jeans and t-shirt were a bad choice.

First band of the day are three-piece Kelman and the only unsigned act. Kelman nearly have a case of must try harder, good lyrics from singer Wayne Gooderham who sounds like a cross between Damon Albarn, Morrissey and what I imagine Nico would have sounded like had she had a bit more testosterone than heroin. Musically, it's a bit disappointing, there is no life where you want there it to be and you can't help but wonder whether if they spent a bit more time crafting a chorus or two they'd be snapped up in no time.

Next were Airport Girl whose blend of pop and melancholy country congeal to create nice little songs. The inclusion of a cello to their swagger gives an edge to the riffs and singer Rob Price's warble brings a smile to many of the cowboys in the room. In the up-tempo numbers (which are few and far between) which appear to consist of their stronger, older material, they really shine, although their fine slower moments remind me of The Brian Jonestown Massacre at their best.

3rd to the plate are My Sad Captains whose oo's and la's combined with cowbell and xylophone give their brand of indie pop a nice twee edge, and the inclusion of a Sparklehorse cover helps win the crowd over too. Although their press release wants you to think Pavement and Broken Social Scene, imagine a more attractive Magic Numbers and you are in the right direction.

Butcher Boy are from Scotland, therefore music law states they will be superior to everyone else toda...and indeed they were. Opening with “There Is No One Who Can Tell You Where You've Been” and then playing nearly every track off their debut album. Highlights included 'Profit In Your Poetry' and 'I Know Who You Could Be'; it is pure pop poetry with crashing reverb guitars, a string section and pianos that would make even Brian Wilson jealous. I hope this band become huge, because they deserve to be.