|It's been a busy week for the Luminaire in Kilburn with Track and Field's Winter Sprinter followed on the Friday by this How Does it Feel To be Loved? event. Judging by the gaunt faces and five days growth chin appendages around me, I'm not the only one who's in need of a night's sleep, shave and detox. The bar's empty shelves and dry pipes are further evidence of the numbers passing through the doors this week.
Pocketbooks are frequently on the bill of these indiepop events, invariably as the bridesmaids, but tonight they show just how far they've come since their early days. They're now a five piece, four boys and a girl, with vocal responsibilities shared between one of the lads and the female and they're a lot more polished and tuneful since I last caught them struggling to be heard over the background chatter at the Buffalo three years ago. Their simple sweet pop is the perfect start to the evening.
Second up are Help Stamp out Loneliness and I can't work out whether I like them or not. They look good, three boys performing the backline rhythm with three girls in front, two on keyboards and one quite stunning in a short gold lame dress performing vocals. Musically, they deliver a really nice shimmering krautrock groove but with a definite pop vibe, somewhere between Blondie and Stereolab and four or five of their songs are very strong indeed. There's a but though; the vocals. D. Lucille, as she's credited on Myspace, has an incredibly deep monotone voice, similar to Nico, that completely conflicts with the indiepop music. I can see a rosey future for both the singer and band but sadly not necessarily together.
Help Stamp Out Loneliness (photo courtesy of the excellent Underexposed photo site)
Headliners The Ballet are a disappointment. Shorn of their strings for their night, the promise of their Myspace page wasn't delivered despite the efforts of the frontman to camply get things going with 'tween track banter ("I can't stop thinking about sex!"). There's a Magnetic Fields feel to their music but without the variety of instrumentation (just a drum machine, keys, bass and guitar here), it all sounds a tad flat. A band to catch another time, perhaps.