Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Review: Pocket Players Playing at Zaffiros, Truro

If you have been on the Cornish live music scene for any amount of time you will have heard of The Pocket Players. I haven't been on the scene at all, and so when I heard they were playing, I was like "...who?".

When I heard they were playing at Zafiros in Truro Zone One I had serious concerns; as we all know, Zafiros has the worst WiFi in the city.

I took a risk and I went.

With my domestic assistant away, I needed a Belle to take to the ball, so I took a friend.

J'ai arrive....
Ding dong, there was a throng.

Zafiros turned out to be a good venue for live music. The big window was a back-drop to the stage and the venue's substantial length and perfect girth gave it a nice flow. One severe downside to the evening was the fact that had I had my laptop on me, I would have been forced to use a flaky and over priced WiFi; with a shudder, I put this dismal thought behind me. I needed to prepare for the band both emotionally, and perhaps, in a little way, unemotionally.

Om Shanti Zafiros Om

Before I enter the review, I should say that this is my first ever live music review. I once started to write a review of an album but gave up. I have no idea what you're meant to write but I'm pretty sure it's a different kind of writing to reviewing a resturant. So here goes.

We gonna put a jiiihad on yo' ears

The Pocket Players are a concept art-punk/rock ensemble who fuse post-Oasisian masculinity against the neo-Pinkian aspects of the band's singer; in this sense they are cohere to an atypicial Myspaceian antithesis. This is a band that knows what it deserves but doesn't expect that trying not to get what it needs isn't going to allow them to let the fans not get exactly what the fans want.

And another core aspect of the band is that yeah, they are good musicians. I mean, I don't know how you really capture that in a "music review".... But lets just say that when you watch them they do their stuff and they do it well. And the stuff is all their own stuff (I think) and its good stuff, you know, like catchy or energetic or this and that and a little bit of.... ska (more on that later). They were better than Holly Golightly who graced this great city a couple of weeks ago. They were to Holly Golightly what R Kelly is to Gary Glitter.

If I had to sum them up in one word it would be..... alive and human.
They layed down the funk and the rock and the pop and the smooth like they were plastering the Sistene Chapel of the Cornish Musosphere.( wooooooaaa slow down there boy, there is only so much room for pretension on the internet. Ed.) I didn't really listen to the lyrics that much but they seemed to contain references to culture and relationships. Definitely post-911.

HiFi Good WiFi Bad

The lead singer is kooky/sexy in that Bjork/Cerys Matthews/Susanne Vega/ Paris Hilton kind of a focal-flambee. The rest of the band reminded me of a troupe of young savant troubadours who had lost their way many times but now felt, musically at least, that they were translating the same Rosetta stone of rock. (ibid.Ed)

The Cornish Band Aid?

I have had a number of moments at live music venues over the years where, propelled by enthusiasm, drink and drugs and the lust of a buxom filly, I have proclaimed that band X is the best live band ever seen and sure to be the next big thing. I am wiser now. This is the reality, there is no way on Earth that in one years time The Pocket Players are going to be filling Wembley. But give them three years, a couple of huge publishing deals, front-panel on i-tunes for every song from their 2 million advance album deal and well, they could easy end up at Wembley.

Kannot Konnect 2 Server

Stadium Supergroup or real-deal local super-stars, The Pocket Players are a good good live band. But..... there is one gripe I have, other than the WiFi. During the set, there were unwelcome descents into Ska which made me feel that this band were more pallid-pastiche than musically-chic. Dire Dire Dire Die Pocket Players don't you ever play in the City again. Only joking, the decent into Ska wasn't bad, I just find it makes me feel like bleaching perfectly good denim.

Conclusion: It's all good dawg.

I'm not going to tell you to sell all your possessions and become a Pocket Players's groupie. I would recommend pirating their album, but that would be wrong of me. Here is how rock and roll I am, I find reviewing pub roasts much easier than music. Hey I know, rather than read my review see for yourself on their myspace page:


Anonymous said...

What is zone 1? How many zones are there? Where do they start and finish? I dont understand? think we should be told?

Mat Ripley said...

Its the middle bit, as opposed to say, Truro Zone 2 or Zone 4 where the Hospital is.

Anonymous said...

i cant believe you end your review with the words dire!!! talk about leaving a bad taste in peoples mouths! (you restaurant critic!) did you (monsoir reviewer) dance to tunes that you had never heard before is the question?

Mat Ripley said...

But the last word isn't "dire"? Nor were the band....

As for dancing... It was a Thursday night... I sweyed. Slightly.