Jim Noir / Jeremy Warmsley @ Barfly, Camden 24/01/06
My gig reviewing process revealed:
Begin with best intentions of speedy review…. spend time earmarked for writing watching Gorgeous George “dancing like a robot from 1984″ …. trawl google for images and witty reviews to pass off as my own, and finally in the case of Jim Noir’s London debut stumble across a review so good it made me laugh out loud (LOL). I mean lol in the sense that it was genuinely funny not LOL as in what people type during internet chat, e.g. ” I’m a bit mad me LOL” “better take some tablets then LOL”.
Anyway Emma Kennedy, seemingly referred to as that women from “The Smoking Room” (but actually with a long and impressive CV) chose as her first gig in 38 and three quarters years on this planet, Mr Jim Noir, and a fine choice it was too.
First up a band “Kill Your Young” described by the promoter as being “punk as fuck”, and described by Emma as:
“I kind of liked Kill Your Young but I wasn’t that mad about the lead singer who’s hair looked like a prostitute’s beaded curtain and, sorry, call me old fashioned, but would it have killed them to dress up?”
It was clear however that most of the Barfly were here to see Jim Noir on this, his first soiree into the capital. He did look a bit nervous to be facing us notoriously glum sour faced hard to please Londoners. He needn’t have worried, London was very pleased to see him, although Emma & his forum would have liked him to bring his hat.
“He was not wearing a hat, although, in a spooky twist, a man did shout out and ask him where his hat was to which mr Jim Noir replied that he had forgotten it and then, with a wistful look in his cool, cool eyes added “I’m always forgetting it” which made me love him a bit.”
The headline act Jeremy Warmsley actually reviews Jim on his own forum, and the verdict… get off the stage man its my turn!:
“Jim Noir’s band were unbelievably repetitive. They should be playing krautrock, not 60’s psych-pop. Although that Eanie Meanie song is fun so maybe he’s better on record.
Also they took approximately seven years to get offstage after they played meaning we started half an hour late, and a bunch of people who came to see me had to leave halfway through. That was a bit rude, I thought.”
I didn’t think they were repetitive, but I did think the live Jim didn’t quite match up to the Noir recorded sound. It was always going to be tricky to recreate a complicated on record sound, and hopefully when he’s headlining he’ll have more time to set up and achieve a fuller sound. That said I did enjoy the gig, as they remain great songs even when presented in fairly bare form, and “My Patch” had the whole place leaping.
Ross Bennett on Drowned in Sound certainly didn’t agree with my comments about the live Noir:
Oscillating between semi-acoustic bops and acoustic pastorale, it’s evident after the first few songs – which include the charming ‘A Quiet Man’ – that the man and his excellent band have managed to transfer these psychedelic laments from record to stage with utmost ease and precision. Later the joyous choruses of ‘Key Of C are met with rapturous applause, as is the Small Faces-esque mod-ska of ‘My Patch’
And so to the headline act Jeremy Warmsley, who I was looking forward to seeing having loved his EP on Transgressive. It was however a mixture of good and bad, with parts sounding like two students duelling to the death on Bontempi keyboards but especially when the whole band came out, and on the sublime “5 verses” it really was everything he has promised on record. I look forward to seeing him again and to the new single coming soon.
Emma’s verdict on Jeremy:
The last act was called Jeremy Warmsley. He reminded me of Tori Amos but if she hadn’t washed in a year.
“I think we can leave now,” said Heather, as Jeremy started singing about cranes.
Unsurprisingly this created a furore on Jeremys forums to which Emma felt compelled to post a “please forgive me” reply:
Sorry if I offended by likening you to a dirty Tori Amos. Please take it as a compliment. It was meant as one. My friend Heather informs me that you were the best person on “by far”. I liked your back projection too. Let’s hope your career rockets into the stratosphere and that next year everyone will be calling Tori Amos a “clean Jeremy Warmsley”
To which Jeremy posted a response that he honestly wasn’t offended, and the songs about Crane flies (Daddy Long legs) not Cranes.