The Finsbury’s a pretty good music venue, although its location on a major London arterial road is probably bad for your lungs while the pub’s fondness for dry ice does nothing for your throat. But for free music, it can’t be knocked (unless the support act is a bunch of rag-week students – one of whom is wearing glasses shaped like musical clefs – playing scandalously wacky jazz).
The Werewandas have come of age now. They’ve honed their sound and produced an engaging indiebilly sound – a mix of feisty indiepop and bopping rockabilly (with nods to Wanda Jackson, Hasil Adkins and Johnny Cash). This is torch, twang and Tarentino surf-pop, giving you humour, pathos and story songs like ‘Nothing Left To Do But Cry’, a Brookside kitchen sink drama relocated to some remote Tennessee town. While they’re a fine band - as they should be, including members of the Fat Tulips, Airport Girl and Schla La Las - my star of the show is Virginie (the Actionettes’ own Miss Velvette), very often obscured by billows of dry ice but pumping out that essential ur-beat, dating from the beginnings of rockabilly time in the best Miriam Linna or Nick Knox style.
Angela Correa live sounds nothing like her Correatown records. The honeyed dreampop becomes a multi-layered tapestry of experimental sound, the use of effects and loop pedals creating stark soundscapes of sometimes disturbing intensity, although the glorious but never saccharine melodies serve to take off the edge. And it’s done mainly by Angela, her guitar and her foot-operated magic boxes, with the threatening thunder of percussive support coming from Rob Poynter while there’s a guest slot from Piney Gir (on ‘Valparaiso’). It shows off songs from the excellent Pleiades album to good effect, with a dramatically different version of ‘Further’, spikier than the flowing, danceable tones on record but still with the melodic punch of its meaningful chorus. Angela Correa is a quiet virtuoso, it’s a modest set up, but the sound is heavenly.
(Pictures by Geoff the Milchman and Sweet Sister Delia.)