Review: Is I Cinema / Malpas /Boat to Row / Ace Bushy Striptease @ Blue Whale Presents…. @createdinbrum & The Rainbow

Is I Cinema, Malpas, Boat to Row, Ace Bushy Striptease
Blue Whale Presents….
Created In Birmingham Shop / The Rainbow
24th April 2010

Yes, yes, alright we’re blowing our own trumpet here, but why not? We’ve worked bloomin’ hard to get our name out and about over the past few months and today’s events at the Created in Birmingham Shop and The Rainbow are a celebration of what has been a great year so far with bands such as Savant, Is I Cinema, Boat to Row, Black Market Empire, The Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Thinktank Project, Little Palm, Ace Bushy Striptease, Falling and Laughing, Aquila, Black Dollar Bills and Last Under the Sun amongst many others all recording at Blue Whale Studios.

The Crowd

The Adoring Crowd

It’s 2pm and hundreds of people are gathering round a stage set up outside the Bullring with music blaring out in the afternoon heat. Unfortunately, those hundreds are missing a beautiful performance inside CiB by Bas from Ace Bushy Striptease in favour of some half arsed sub X Factor heat karaoke shite. His fragile melodies float wistfully over the shop floor, drawing a crowd of people from the front of the store, milling amongst the jewellery, artwork and record stands to hear his tender musings of self conciousness.

Mike 'Boat to Row' King by Aaron Andrews

Mike from Boat to Row then provides a hazy warmth, somehow generating the free feel of a summertime in an open field in this giant commercial beast of glass and steel with both fragility and agility of acoustic pickings before Malpas dazzle with their heart numbing three way harmonies.

Don’t just take our word for it though, Phil, Alan and Shelley from Rhubarb Radio were kind enough to record the gigs for you to enjoy here:

Ace Bushy
Boat to Row

Then it’s off to The Rainbow in Digbeth where we join We Love Brum and ARC to present a night of live visuals from Leon Trimble as the afore mentioned acts bolster their sound with full bands.

Ace Bushy are in scintillating form tonight, their itchy non stop pop assault commands attention from the off and it’s difficult to stray considering each song twists from it’s previous direction every twenty seconds or so. It’s the sound of a Sub Pop playlist with a trigger happy finger on the shuffle button.

Greg and Matt from This is Tomorrow then have a funk off behind the decks dropping shape shunting riddems, helping us to get our wigle on.

Boat to Row are beefed up from the pure English folk we heard at the matinee into a punchier three piece that adds a slight twinge of post-grunge to the delicacies. ‘Autumn Glow’ is angelically understated and has us urging to skip down to a river bed. Obviously, in Digbeth this is not advisable, as the Rea is probably lethal round these parts but ’tis testament to the band’s ability to provide an idealistic imaginary escape route.

Malpas have us thinking of the great outdoors again, but this time it is the fields of Glastonbury. Songwriting perfection with pulsing a pulsing electronica undercurrent motivates the legs to bob while the folk textures and, again, those harmonies lighten the soul with adrenalised sensitivity. ‘Here Comes The Rain’ has us wishing for wellies and the stench of the Somme as it expands into a glorious festival anthem.

Genre iconoclasts Is I Cinema are at war with musical convention. Think These New Puritans with Spiritualized sized guitar exploration while The Bug man synths with tribal twin drumming, dub bass and Ballardian lyrical imagery. Not the most universal of sounding acts by any stretch of the imagination, but stretch the imagination they do.

A special thanks to We Love Brum, ARC, Rhubarb Radio, Created in Birmingham, This is Tomorrow, Leon Trimble and The Rainbow for allowing Blue Whale to organise the day which without their help would not have been the roaring success that it has been. But, just as importantly, thank you to everyone who made it down.

Andy Roberts

NB To our knowledge this was the only time in history that two people called Duncan were in the same room as each other. So fittingly a photo was taken to commemorate the occasion.

"Get me Norris McWhirter, I've got two Duncans here! What do you mean he's dead? What about Roy Castle? Huh? If Kriss Akabusi's brown bread I'll shit a brick"


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