The Maccabees, The Long Winters

Charlie Southwell 18/02/2007

From the big ole US, The Long Winters, true to their name, were dressed in scarves 'n hats, winter wear, their parents obviously had taught them the unpredictabilities of the UK weather well. The melodies and vocal harmonies comprise of a more contemporary REM crossed with a more interesting, more energetic and happier Snow Patrol. Beards and facial hair in bundles, they could make a fortune if they sheared off their mature look and became hunkier. But I get the feeling they aren't in it for the money; most bands would be a fools to. Not a particularly amazing band, but held my attention, and drew the crowd right to the front vying with the barrier. Confident, calm and an uncompromised reliance on a strong sound. A band that in the future will be huge, given the right touring partners and big supports. Seemed to be really down to earth guys, with a Mac onstage however I thought there was going to be more synthy moments, and left me disappointed. But they finished with requests and played "Stupid", a great catchy little pop ditty that had me in me dancing shoes.

The Macabees were, frankly, disappointing, they have been hyped up to be a band unknown by many but those most interested in the music scene. Arriving at the venue I had huge anticipations for a grand set and an energetic evening of frantic fun to be had. The band arrived on stage and the singer thought he was god's gift, quite alike to Johnny Borrell. That attitude doesn't endear anyone to me, and hopefully anyone else. The band otherwise played a tight set, good music, and essentially a great gig, that was spoilt by his domination of the band when all of the others are much more talented. Somewhat disheartened, I awaited the singles and then the club night. The singles came and went; scene kids lapped up the radio play-listed tracks then settled back into their poses. Except some bloke in the crowd hoofing a couple of ladies, and the camera man next to him, the set was rather uneventful.

Atomic Pop is the club night ran by Jo Bliss, which has long term participation in the Exeter music scene, and her eclectic yet unashamedly pop DJing means everyone can come together and party from such a diverse range of people. It is truly an amazing atmosphere. A night that has built up over time, and is respected throughout the South-West it does the night justice to have a sold out venue, yet again. Tracks played in no particular order include…

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Elvis Costello - Oliver's Army
Girls Aloud - Sound Of The Underground
Adam Ant - Prince Charming
Fratellies (twice) - Chelsea dagger

while other bands played include Beyonce, Bloc Party, Justin Timberlake and The Kooks. Alas there was no Jilted John, B52s or Pig Bag, but I was pretty drunk and got up on stage and danced with Jo for Adam Ant. I LOVE ATOMIC POP.

The next AP night is March 17th - with SHINY TOY GUNS and LE CHAT NOIR - be there or be square, but save me a place.