Good Shoes, The Lodger, Low Edges, Girls Girls Girls

Steven West 09/12/2005

And so to the Angular Disco, at The Venue, New Cross, where I start the evening the way all freezing cold Fridays should with Girls, Girls, Girls all around me. Teenage honey traps flit around me and my aging type at the back, and then the band GirlsGirlsGirls begin. They seem the archetype comedy indie band, yet funny. They desperately, desperately want to be signed, but the very thing, which makes them distinctive, is the very thing that will prevent this. They soldier on to an ever-diminishing crowd even summoning up the ghost of The Vichy Government, sadly missing, to whip up the crowd. Sadly the early slot (9.30pm!) of the gig is unforgiving, and even those interested are not warmed up enough yet.

The next band, The Low Edges, are a bit luckier with the crowd as the Venue begins to fill up more, and I estimate about 75 people watch them. I saw them about six months ago, and in that time they have got better. Before they looked terrified, but the songs were lurking in there, now they look terrifying and the songs are stronger. The lead singer sings and barks the words in equal measure. He mocks the previous (all boy) band and then asks if the Vichy Government are in yet. They are, and partway through he gets off the stage and sings at The Vichy Government's singer. Dry Ice is demanded for (what is probably) their weakest song. Then he asks if the record labels are in, someone shouts no and he chastises them for only going for the more fashionable later slots. Clearly The Low Edges don't give a fuck and they remind me of The Fall and I like them.

People keep mentioning The Lodger on music websites and I remember seeing a different line-up here almost a year to the day ago (with The Research and The Long Blondes). They weren't very good live then, and they fare little better now. The songs are undeniably good indie classics, and checking out their free mp3s they stand up, yet there is something lacking in the band. The singer lacks presence and sounds like he would rather be doing anything than singing the songs. Perhaps this is the shtick with a deadpan delivery emphasising the Kitchen Sink Indie Pop, but The two girls sitting on the front of the stage with their backs to the band for the first song and a bit sum it up. Nice to listen to, dull to watch.

There is a short wait until the band everyone is here to see come on. Good Shoes are the name on everyone's lips this evening with their recent signing still hope gossip, with a feature in the Metro that morning, alongside reports of excitable crowds not seen since the heady days of the, err, Libertines. There is no denying Good Shoes have something going on. I mean they have a fair few good pop songs (and some forgettable ones), but what they really have is a devoted following. The singer talks of people from Scotland travelling to the gig and that is the sort of devotion that gets mentioned in articles like this and then passes into folklore. Next time half of teenage Scotland will come down to some dingy London club. I think I may be doing Good Shoes a great injustice here, but I am not too bothered with their songs to be honest. I am more concerned with how they get such a rabid, crowd surfing, stage invading following and I stand in the crowd bemused at the attention (alongside member of the support bands looking on with envy), this band of young lads, are getting. Whatever it is, Good Shoes have the magic formula. The next gig they play after this is with The Long Blondes. A gig that surely will cost 25 this time next year, but it would be hard to say who would be supporting who.