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Those Dancing Days / Sky Larkin / La Shark Goldsmiths, London
Article written by
Paul M - Nov 25, 2008
Those Dancing Days
It's taters out and the train line to New Cross Gate is playing up but I arrive at the Goldsmiths Pleasure Dome in good humour, suitably refreshed from a moistening detour to the Hobgoblin pub. This being a college, the bar is naturally cheap but even the subsidised booze can only distract me for so long. It's a Monday, ten o'clock and the first act have yet to come on. When they do show, I wish they hadn't bothered. La Shark, presumably local college students, make up in numbers for what they lack in quality, as the six face painted performers deliver a ramshackle mess of keys and strings. They veer between orchestral folk and gypsy punk but are nowhere near as interesting as that might sound and the frontman has an arrogance that fails to endear himself to neutrals. At one stage prior to delivering a song in the most hamfisted French accent I have ever heard he admonishes the audience with a "Ne parlez pas!" for not paying sufficient attention to his cringeworthy onstage antics. Someone shouts "En coulez!" back and to be fair, it's justified.
Next up are Sky Larkin, who thankfully unfurrow our brows with their uncomplicated choppy riffed indie. A female fronted trio, they play the basics (drums/guitar/bass) with just an occasional keyboard thrown into the mix and although they'll win few awards for originality and struggle to fill the big stage, they go down well enough. Then again David Van Day and Timmy Mallett doing a Biff Baff Boff duet would be a treat after what had preceded them.
By the time Those Dancing Days come on, it's freezing inside the venue too and 11.40. Although I don't actually realise it at the time, I've now missed my last train. While I appreciate our workshy student chums don't need to concern themselves with such issues yet, those of us who have to actually get up before midday and go to work are non too impressed by such matters. I therefore only catch twenty minutes of the band I've come to see and clearly many others won't have even been able to manage that. Fortunately, if that's the appropriate word, the PA is so poor that their performance is spoiled anyway and it feels less of a heartbreak to leave than it otherwise might have, as we slip out to the bass muffled calypso strains of Home Sweet Home. I finally get in at 1am via two buses and a cab. When gigs go bad...