Monday, 5 May 2008

Phil Wilson - 10 April 2008, Gramaphone

The Gramaphone is full of big grins and bobbing heads. Pocketbooks are playing back-up band to Phil Wilson who’s bashing out a pop euphoric cover of The Go Between’s ‘Lee Remick’. Next, they take on an exhilarating ‘In The Rain’ by Wilson’s olden band, eighties indie poppers The June Brides. It’s a fabulous, fun-filled, life-affirming end to a sweet-hearted gig.

We learn from Phil Wilson’s
MySpace that he has once again taken up music, performing as a solo artiste. Tonight’s gig should therefore not be confused with the brief but jolly June Brides reformation that happened a few years ago
(evidence here).
To make it even more confusing, Mr Wilson is joined by two original June Brides - viola player Frank and trumpet man Big Jon and their set consists pretty much entirely of The June Brides’ back catalogue played along to a backing track. Not that anyone here is complaining. These songs are tatooed onto our fluttering indie kid hearts. Songs that hop, skip, jump and jangle their merry way out of our pasts and back into our arms like they’d never been away. Like we’d never put aside guitars strummed with such violent enthusiasm, trumpets soaring sunbeams straight to our hearts and pop tunes that made us dance stupid steps, singing along fit to burst, ‘Lets shout out loud to prove that we’re alive’. They’re all here, those songs, ‘Every Conversation’, ‘I Fall’, ‘Sunday To Saturday’. Yay! Then there’s the teary, cheery downbeat ache of ‘This Town’ which makes me feel like someone’s walked over my grave – sort of nostalgic and freaked out and happy and sad as the trumpet line tangles its way around my heart and twirls up and over the rooftops.

We also get the Phil Wilson Creation Records solo stuff, like the fab flamenco-tinged gallop of ’10 Miles’, the wistful croon of ‘Even Now’, the country stagger of ‘Waiting For A Change’. There’s even room for a new Wilson song which fits in with the general jangle just fine, perhaps getting a bit lost amongst all the swooning over yesteryear that’s going on.

It may be pure nostalgia, but we get our pop thrills where we can. Oh yes, and can Pocketbooks always be Phil’s band please?

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