Marmaduke @ B&H

Where B&H stands for Bourne & Hollingsworth, a basement bar on Rathbone Place, not Benson & Hedges. Obviously. I’m told B&H used to be an S&M restaurant/bar – where S&M is sado-masochism, not Sales and Marketing. Obviously.

Cute little venue now, with teacups with tealights in, floral wallpaper and a pretty tasty sound system that was clean and sharp all night. Also, lots of books in the lav – nice touch, except they were all above the urinal, which isn’t reading territory. Anyway, I was there on the 17th for a night of live musics.

First act was a special performance – booked for the same eveing but a week earlier, or something, was Tom Dibb ( [flash only]) who was accompanied by a wicked bassist and irritated by a pair of idiots sitting right in front of the “stage” – microphones – shouting over the music. It was some pretty good acoustic guitarmanship, with decent songs, especially felt the last one about slogging around shitty venues, dedicated to Mrs. Loud. Recording an album this week, apparently, could be worth checking out.

After Tom was Naomi Hates Humans (myspace) who was apparently described by one reviewer, somewhat unkindly, as sounding like KT Tunstall with a broken hand. Whatever. I think Naomi actually sounds like a female, acoustic Radiohead, only with a belting set of lungs and growly voice to scare your parents with. She also has a lot of badges to sell, two albums, and a loud and a quiet set. This was the quiet set, because of the shouty people who just got louder when the music went up, but it was still quite loud from time to time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then Marmaduke (myspace) was on. Due to circumstances, his band, who used to be called the Mooche, but now apparently aren’t, was reduced to Pete (drummer) and (by coincidence) Naomi on violin, with the Duke playing his own guitar, as King John was busy attending to royal duties elsewhere. I haven’t seen Marm with Naomi since she joined, and I have to say I was pretty much blown away by the violin sound – top quality. The set was a mix of some older songs plus a few new ones, including one about being lazy which was pretty good, although I am rubbish at listening to lyrics. Must be getting on towards having a full albums-worth of tunes now…

Penultimate act of the night were Kitchen – possibly. I’d had a few extortionate Peronis by this stage, and I’m not sure they actually introduced themselves. Anyway, lead singer in a hat was Simon. On bass was Tim “Omar” Daze plus a drummer who probably had a name. Simon Kitchen has a lively stage presence – he was barely contained in the tny area set aside for the performers, jerking around like some kind of epileptic’s marionette, but also playing some pretty rocky acoustic guitar. I was plannig to leave about halfway through, but my toes were too busy tapping to get out of my chair and head up the stairs. I would definitely check them out again if I knew who they were.
edit: Kitchener. (myspace)


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