Review: Bronze Medals @ The Saturday Matinees @IslandBar

Bronze Medals
The Saturday Matinees
Island Bar
1st May 2010

Seeing the upstairs of Island Bar in daylight is quite a strange experience – being able to see the Tiki Bar in its full garish glare is rather wakening, but does allow us to see the brilliance of Them Lot’s artwork in all its surreal glory.

Brummie blogging contemporaries Scene Not Heard are doing a more than honourable thing for the city by offering Saturday afternoon gigs at the rock n roll cocktail joint, showcasing some of our regions finest acts for free.

So step up Bronze Medals who have taken US college post rock and added a heavy English accent to it. Think the twiddly guitars of American Football with an almost Afrobeat rhythm and a slight, perhaps unintentional Bloc Party vocal jostle, and you’re in the rough vicinity of this raw three piece.

The stripped down almost purist dynamic with no tricks up their sleeves other than the adept playing and canny knack for a tune is how they manage to engage so well. No slick synths, pre-programmed backing tracks or apparently even, it would appear, guitar effects to hide behind, just a fresh aptitude and fast fingers.

Promoters take note, Bronze Medals offer a pretty unique ability to be two bands at once as they also form the much acknowledged Boat to Row. The same members of Ben Gilchrist, Mike King and drummer Lloyd Miller make up the band, just with swapsies between bass and six string between the designated frontmen. Not to mention Mike’s wiry guitar gymnastics in Youves as well as Ben’s super sub appearances of late.

Jacks of all trades, masters of them too.

Andy Roberts


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