Fake Problems, beans on toast, Frank Turner
Bex Hayzelden 20/10/2009
As I line up outside in the cold and dark it dawns on me that the summer (along with those muddy festival shoes) is most definitely gone and it's back to the dreary venues. It's with this in mind that I was particularly surprised to see such a large number of people keenly queuing around the venue, and it was only 6.30. It seemed like Fake Problems would have more than the handful of dithering people who usually turn up to watch the support act.
The show opens with Beans on Toast, a singer songwriter from London, who despite giving off the aura of a man who's just walked off the street managed to do surprisingly well. With witty banter that put the likes of Michael McIntyre to shame (although at times that's not hard) he quickly captivates the crowd and manages to get even the most riotous crowd members shouting along to Halloween with him. But could Fake Problems really up the stakes? Or would the Americans just embarrassingly sink into background noise.
As Fake Problems take to the stage it's to a few feeble claps, after having been brilliantly baffled by the talent of Beans on Toast it seems the crowd have taken the view that it can only get worse. And, I can't really say I blame them for the motley bunch of guys on stage hardly look like they are going to make much of an impact let alone a good one. With the baby faced singer getting screams from the crowd of, “OMG he looks like he's in the Jonas brothers”, whilst the straggly haired guitarist looks like he'd be more at home at sonosphere it seems like before they'd even played a note they were doomed to fail.
Until they start, and suddenly, their ironic mixture of looks combines to make something that although is hard to classify, is really rather good. With the guitarist lapping out licks and the singer alternating between melodic melodies to harsh hoarse tones it sounds as if an indie kid decided to wear a Sex Pistols t shirt with the swagger of a rock star. Although at times they are perhaps a bit hyperactive, as the bassist attempts (and fails) to juggle I start thinking I'm watching the latest diagnosed “hyperactive” five year olds. But, their irrational movement soon became infectious and the crowd avidly joins in on songs like, “The Dream Team”, and , “Diamond Rings”. So, after all this did they really manage to beat Beans on Toast? As their set comes to a close and they compliment Beans on Toast by saying, “Isn't he great?” they're quickly met by a shout of “but your better!” .America 1 - Britain 0 … at least until Frank Turner takes the stage anyway.