Back at St George’s for potentially our last gig of 2017 and this one was always going to be a tricky one: Green Gartside of Scritti Politti and Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, with support from Matthew Falloon.
I’ve never really clicked with Hot Chip despite really wanting to like their brand of high-energy, funky indie, and I would actively avoid Scritti Politti whenever they were anywhere near the tv when I was (much) younger, but you’ve got to believe that between them they are going to come up with something worth seeing, even if it’s not to my taste completely.
The crowd is as eclectic as ever, the regulars mixing with people who are obviously here to see Green specifically; clutching Script Politti albums for him to sign is a real give-away.
Matthew Falloon, one man and a guitar kicks the night off with a short set, all pretty melancholic, but it left me wanting more – he has a fantastic voice, eyes-closed I could hear Paul Simon and, for one of the last tracks, a Roxanne-period Sting. Brutally honest in his track commentaries, he really endeared himself to an appreciative audience.
After a short interval Green and Alexis came on stage for the main event, a long set that seemed to be split into two different musical themes or periods; the older Scritti Politti tracks interspersed with newer material that sounded to me to have more to do with Alexis Taylor than Green Gartside, but that may well be way off the mark. They shared singing duties, it worked well providing good value and interest. Certainly my favourite track of the night sounded very Hot Chip, but the audience definitely seemed to enjoy the older material – several times suggested tracks were shouted out, and subsequently ignored. I started the night as a definite ‘non-fan’, and that’s pretty much how I ended it; the music was tight and well performed, but personally I felt that Green’s voice works better in the late ’80s underneath big hair than it does in the 21st century coming from behind a big beard.
It definitely wasn’t a sub-par performance, there was a lot for a fan to like – I’m just not that fan.
Find out what else is coming up at St George’s, Bristol on their website