Friday, November 25, 2011

FREE SWIM @ THE STAR OF KINGS 24 November 2011

"That's so new I wasn't sure where to go with it" confesses Matt Emery making up the ending to a song he penned earlier this afternoon. There's a supportive but disappointingly small crowd to support his fresh-as-new-paint opening slot, heartfelt solo acoustic power-pop songs of breaking hearts, weeping moons and feeling alone in hotel rooms.

I wrote about Oh! Gunquit in the new band section in this esteemed organ back in May 2010. The shadowy basement/cave at The Star of Kings is the perfect setting for their high-octane, surftastic garage-rock. Who could fail to love pounding songs called ‘Cindy's Got A Tiger’, ‘Meat Shake’ or ‘The Mentalist Twist’, the latter featuring hula-hooping lead singer. Sadly that moment was not captured for posterity by me. Instead you'll just have to track them down live for yourself. Highly recommended.

It was the 30th birthday of Free Swim’s Head Coach Paul Coltofeanu: "he's the oldest member of the band". But whatever else, he's certainly not the furriest or tallest band member. That honour belongs to the bass player dressed as the titular Giant Panda of the band's second EP “Yolanda The Panda”.

If seeing a band's singer hula-hoop earlier had been an unexpected pleasure, it was dwarfed by the silly-grin delight of seeing a seven foot panda strafe the - sadly still small - crowd with his bass guitar whilst placing one large paw firmly on the monitor. The four-piece band only played seven songs but they ably showed off the humorous and surreal story-telling and chunky rock sounds that made said EP one of this year's unadulterated pleasures.

This was Free Swim’s last gig of 2011 but for next year again highly, highly recommended live. Fun, furious and furry.

The Set List:

The Eureka Moment
I Want To Be A Mountaineer
Harmlessly English
Swooping Swoopily Like A Swooping Swooper
Scoring Bamboo Shoots
Rubik’s Rue
Quality Time With The Wife and Kids

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