Miss Halliwell, Barry’s Attic
The Old Wharf, Digbeth
Friday 16th April 2010
As we stumble into the bona-fide Victorian back street boozer that is The Old Wharf, it’s a slightly surreal juxtaposition to hear the jangle and synth of Barry’s Attic.
They’re rooted firmly in Low-life era New Order and also somewhere in the locale around post-punk / pre-Britpop but still sit squarely with Midlands contemporaries Shana Tova and Falling and Laughing with smidgens of Augustine.
‘The Past is Just That’ demonstrates a pop ethic reminiscent of The Lightning Seeds and takes you back to a time before lad culture consumed indie music with the rise of Oasis which eventually lead to the abysmal a-bloke-alypse that is Kasabian. The nostalgia develops further as the opening keyboard riff of ‘The Prize’ joyfully evokes The Real McCoy’s ‘Another Night Another Day,’ just without the Euro-perv emceeing.
Whoever Barry is, his attic is full of indie synth pop gems, the kind you would spend your paper round money on at Woolworths after watching Gazzetta Football Italia. You can almost taste the Pick and Mix.
Every time we go to watch Miss Halliwell we come back gushing. They are so exciting, so raw, so prolific, so uncompromising, so addictive.
They are the punk myth in reality – the pure expression, disdain and snarling humour is unrivaled. No other band is a patch on them.
It’s been said many times before, but to see frontman Miles Perhower control his band members’ effects pedals, instructing his drummer by shouting; “bass, snare, bass, bass, snare” down the microphone or orchestrate the stage excitedly with his arms flailing is worth paying for in itself.
Tonight the singer is wearing a gruesome zombie mask while singing into two microphones, either simultaneously or swapping them between lines of his scathing babble.
Despite the rough edges and the unpolished hot-off-the-press-this-one-was-only-written-last-Thursday style performance, the tunes and their personality are gripping – the ramshackle tack enhancing the awakening adventure.