Che, The Electrilickers, Abie Bugden, Get Frank, Jodi Ann Bickley
Oxjam Brum Presents You’re A Sister
Friday April 16th 2010
Hi. I’m Jeff and I’m an alcoholic diabetic. If that doesn’t get your sympathy then this should. Women all over the world are abused, overworked, neglected, beaten, treated like second class citizens or in many countries, not even recognised as citizens but beasts of burden to carry the expectations of mankind on their shoulders and in their wombs. It’s half three in the morning and I can’t sleep because of this. Why? Because I attended You’re A Sister, a night specifically aimed at raising awareness of the plight of deprived women and raising funds to help them, and it’s been both thought provoking and fabulous. Compered by a quite literally feverish Jodi Ann Bickley, who filled in the gaps with her poetic paeans to love, it was a treat from start to finish and I felt proud to call myself a sister.
Get Frank were instantly likeable. A four piece of drums, bass, acoustic guitar and glockenspiel toting chanteuse with a some excellent songs, laced with the dry wit of Kirsty McColl and a somewhat folky air that reminded me of Eddi Reader’s Fairground Attraction. Singer Frankie Ward’s glorious voice was showcased on the song Bedspread, conveying sincere emotive power and quite unliterally grasping me by the baggins and making me a little wibbly lipped.
If Get Frank were instantly likeable, Abie Budgen turned my head and made me fall in love with her a little. Starting with a twenties style ragtime, she moved easily into the southern blues of Big Bill Broonzy, foot tapping the floor to keep rhythm and entrancing us with washboard accompanied tunes. This petite young slip of a girl is an incredible mistress of the blues and I was massively disappointed that the sound problems with the Banjolele couldn’t be overcome. Still, moving on with audience participation, she continued to grab the room with her awesome talent. Yep, definitely a little bit in love with her.
Another change of direction in musical styles with The Electrilickers, who too were plagued with sound issues. It’s such a shame as the muddy sound, with the vocals too low and lacking a touch of reverb, really undermined what could have been a brilliant performance. Elements of Royksopp and even a smidgeon of the gargantuan Sigur Ros sound, The Electrilickers have something that could be both commercially accessible and critically acclaimed. Despite the sound issues, I found myself chilled to the mellow yet elated and writing the word Super over and over in my notepad. I guess that means it was Super.
With the evening now running late, I was forced to leave part way through Che’s set to fulfil another appointment, but from what I did hear I got anthemic tunes with powerful vocals that draw comparison with Evanescence but with far superior songs. Outside my usual tastes but taut , enjoyable and filled with quality.
Oxfam’s Sisters On The Planet campaign couldn’t have asked for more this evening in bringing this veritable cause to the fore. Regardless of sexual orientation, we were all sisters tonight.
Addendum: Special mentions must be made for the most delectable looking cakes made by Cherry Sprinkles shared amongst the audience, diabetic poison which I sadly had to decline, and also to Atta Girl, DJ’s for the night. Anyone playing Scout Niblett is ok in my book.