Herman Düne, St Thomas, Comet Gain

Anna Claxton 07/01/2005

Comet Gain have been around for ages, haven't they? At least I'm pretty sure it was Comet Gain, although it is hard to tell, as this is a band that has amalgamated a good few times and I last heard of them when I was fourteen. Either way, I quite enjoyed watching the opening band, whoever they were, despite the boy singer initially sounding not too good and being very thankful when the girl singer was embarrassed enough to vocally beat him into submission with her shouty New-Wave-over-melodic-indie shenanigans. In fact, having reached this point, Comet Gain actually came something close to resembling the semi-professional musicians they think they are. Although they still couldn't start a song without cocking it up once or twice. A little unrehearsed? That's rock and roll, innit? Then again, perhaps it is significant after all that I began to drink heavily throughout their set. Next..

And that would be St Thomas and his Norwegian cheeky cowboys. Now, it is no secret that I love St Thomas, an act which has quickly become one of my all-time favourites; I have proposed marriage to him, although not yet spoken to him in person. I have also somehow scared his adorable drummer, Alexander. The wedding plans don't bode well. It doesn't matter. Tonight, filling in for The Projects, this fantastic surprise performance regardless left me as enraptured as ever by the alt-country/rock heaven created when this trio grace the stage. And delivering charismatic versions of the beautiful "Be cool, be nice" and "Artist with a Brilliant Disguise", to name a few, whilst sneaking in some new material and a sing-song with David Dune, it also didn't matter that the band was uncharacteristically moody because, still, if I could bottle half of the atmosphere that is in the room at one of their shows, I would be a millionaire by now. A fabulous talent.

The same could also be said for Herman Dune. Not to mention their phenomenal unlikely-rock-star facial hair. Although this three-piece ooze cool-rock-star image if ever I saw it. They sing songs about monkeys, that's how cool they are. A cross between Velvet Underground (not least for the stunning guest guitarist, Sir Turner Cody, possibly the only man to get away with wearing shades indoors), Belle and Sebastian (for the see-how-many-words-you-can-fit-in-a-witty-sentence songs) and a magic ingredient all their own (there is a certain something about creating percussion from beer bottles, would you not agree?), Herman Dune's weird blend of shuffling European Americana even impressed the stiff Londoners with their well coiffured barnets and the iron rods up their arses enough, and got them to move a bit. Hoorah for that. They also score ten out of ten for tolerating two excitable drunken girls after their set. Now go buy their new record.