Best CoastFear Of Men breezed through their support slot set with songs that sound as though they were written during an intense period of day dreaming. Their lead singer is a delight to watch as she sways from side to side, singing the strangest of lyrics and making them sound so pretty. Highlights from their back catalogue of limited edition tapes and online demo-comps spring up throughout the set. These guys and girls are big in London but it wouldn’t be too mad to think of them as being pretty big in the capital B sometime soon.
Spectrals sound as though they are trying to re-create songs from the 50s and 60s from memory. The result is a set of half-awake takes on classic pop with a dash of modern distorted effects. The lead singer only breaks his cool once when he announces to the crowd that the screen to the right of the stage with its adverts for Coldplay and JLS is making him feel sick.
Best Coast literally let the songs do the talking for them. With little more than a “thanks” after songs, Bethany’s on stage communication with the crowd, who so clearly adore her, is minimalist to say the least. Despite her apparent cold-ness (maybe Birmingham just doesn’t live up to the sunny beaches she sings of) choice cuts from both her celebrated debut and equally loved follow up are given a proper live rendition. Of course, it comes as no surprise that Coast classics such as ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Crazy For You’ get the most joyous response. Older treat ‘Sun Was High (So Was I)’ came as a pleasant surprise amongst the new material that slotted in perfectly with the songs of old.
It could be said that Bethany has a cult following nowadays, and let me be the 150th person to say it. Guitarist Bob is catching up though, becoming a character in his own right. Shouts of “go on Bob!” get exclaimed every now and then.
California may be the only place for Bethany but it isn’t the only place that her music has touched. Birmingham music fans want the sun to shine too, and through Best Coast’s grungy pop bangers, we can all imagine we are right there with her. And Bob of course.
Photographs by Rebecca Reilly
About Jack Parker
I am a new music fan more than anything else: the latest thing is the greatest thing for me. But I still have time for the golden oldies of music. My favourite band of all time has to be Weird Dreams.