You certainly get your money's worth from Fistful of Fandango at 229. With six bands spread across two stages on each evening of this four-night indie 'festival', there's lot's to see. We arrive on the final evening, just in time to catch Televised Crimewave in the Great Portland Street venue's smaller room.
Their fast, rocky sound occasionally veers towards twangy Wild West, and singer Daniel Wilson keeps things interesting, leaving the stage to join the crowd at one point. These guys are worth watching.A short dash through the connecting corridor later and we're in the main room for Hatcham Social
, who leave us unmoved with their angular style and flat vocals. Back to the smaller room for The Chapman Family
then.This four-piece's knackered drum kit fits their raw, abrasive sound perfectly. They're angry and menacing, and we're just a little bit unsettled as the front man uses the microphone cord to mimic hanging himself. Sure, they could use a bit of polish, but there's a real depth of feeling beneath the noise.The last band on are Art Brut
. And we're not entirely sure what to make of them. They've got an urgent spikiness and some kick-arse catchy tunes. But with an overblown demeanour and unnecessary theatrics (at one point the whole band freezes midway through a song), the group risks getting categorised as a novelty act.Sure, front man Eddie Argos has an excellent rant about Beatles Rock Band and we like the way he talks his lyrics Ian Dury style, rather than singing them badly. There's a lot of energy on stage and real intelligence behind the songs.But overall, Art Brut come too close to ditching their own credibility for our liking. At points, we're wondering if they're always like this, or if they've decided to send themselves up for some reason.Maybe they need to take themselves a bit more seriously.Or maybe we just don't get it. Because the crowd certainly seems onside as Fistful of Fandango ends for another year. It's been good value, and where else can you see four bands in two hours? Assuming it's back in 2010, we'll be there too. (Image / Kingsley Chapman of The Chapman Family.)
Last Updated 14 September 2009