Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Come Saturday. 16 May 2009

Wake up to a sunny day of Pains action. A quick bus ride up the road and we’re hangin’ in Rough Trade East, dissecting last night, anticipating today and inspecting ‘Black Medicine Music’ by Stag Hare which has got a strangely compelling sleeve. In a corner, Kip of the Pains is having a er, kip in an armchair. Don’t blame him, it seems to be a pretty punishing schedule the band are following.

Help Stamp Out Loneliness play a support set and their bright ‘n’ breezy tunes sound great on this bright ‘n’ breezy morn. They really are right catchy, the songs tumbling round your brain on spin-cycle. Singer D. looks resplendent in purple satin troosers and a natty velvet bow-tie. Also, I'd forgotten they did that cover of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Rush Hour’ and am charmed all over again when it appears. You can see light-bulbs going on above peoples’ heads when the chorus kicks in.

We shuffle about and wonder which idiot has left a rucksack apparently containing a laptop lying around on the floor, alongside a copy of Simon Reynold’s ‘Rip It Up’. This is the East End you know – can’t just leave shit lying around and expect it to be there later. Or maybe it’s a bomb? Who knows? Being caring types we tuck the book away safely so it doesn’t get damaged and keep a wary eye on the laptop/bomb. At the end of the Pains set we stand about admiring Peggy’s keyboard case - the neatly stencilled band name set off with a tiny stencilled heart - and watch as she collects the laptop/bomb and book. Oh.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart play a short sharp set, looking slightly bleary, but sounding ferocious. The second guitar boots all the tunes up the arse, especially with some wailingly tremendous tremolo arm action on ‘Come Saturday’ - eeoooww, screee! The songs woosh and Pop! and in one of those time-stops moments of sonic ascension I suddenly feel overwhelmed at their fabness and the way the noise is hurtling around us so perfectly and I almost get teary. Luckily, the moment passes when Kip knocks the mic off the stand and has to wrestle it back up whilst continuing to play and sing – quite an impressive feat.

Ooh, ‘eck it’s sweaty in the Windmill. We’re all squidged in enjoying our second bout of Pains. It’s just like the olden days down the furnace-like Falcon, only without the bass player from The Fury Things fainting off the stage mid-song. The Pains are obviously hard-core – Kip remains resolutely zipped into his jacket, Peggy stays cardie-ed up. They joke about not being allowed to take off their ‘cardigans’. To do so would be contravene indiepop rules.

This is the best set yet; crashing and crunching and swooning in all the right places, the band a perfect pop gang. As an encore we get the mythical b-side of ‘103’ that our pal John has been telling us sounds kind of Orange Juice-y. In fact it sounds REALLY Orange Juice-y, jangling away, much cleaner than the normal fuzztastic Pains tunes (only one guitar here). Alex even gets the bass a bit Postcard-funky. The song’s called ‘Falling Over’. It turns out that the band’s working title for the song was ‘Orange Juice Song’. Indeed.

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