Saturday, April 12, 2008

Winchell Riots gig

Winchell Riots (8/10) + Her Name Is Calla (8/10) + This Et Al (7/10)

I haven't been to a gig in quite a while - at least, unless you count the cover band at Nick & Roo's wedding - but tonight I put that right by going to see The Winchell Riots (formed by ex-members of Fell City Girl) play a gig at the Wheatsheaf, with Nick & Roo.

Opening band, This Et Al, weren't one I'd ever heard of before, but they were pleasant enough, with songs ranging from stoner rock to upbeat indie-pop - while none really stood out at least there was some variety.

The band I'd really come to see was Her Name Is Calla, who we saw supporting Glissando at the Port Mahon last July. A truly multi-instrumental post-rock group, they only serve up three of their typically epic songs, but are typified by closing number New England, which veers from fragile vocals over sparse backing to a rousing crescendo which culminates with all four of the band beating drums. Thoroughly enjoyable.

As I said, it was Her Name Is Calla that I'd initially come to see, having joined their mailing list at the previous gig, but - while I was never a Fell City Girl devotee (having seen them only once) - the chance to check out Phil McMinn's new band was a welcome one. I don't remember Fell City Girl making a particularly distinctive impression on me, though the songs from their later Swim EP did grow on me.

The Winchell Riots were playing to launch their debut EP, Histories, which I bought after the show, and I thought they had a lot more character and individuality - though that's probably me being unfair to FCG. Perhaps they can go on and achieve the big things FCG were tipped for. They'll need to write some more songs first though - Phil admits they have no more for the encore, so resorts to a solo performance of FCG classic February Snow to popular acclaim and participation. (That YouTube video is actually from the gig itself; here's the FCG original)

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