Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Official Secrets Act, Bodega Social

Tonight we're back at the Bodega Social because my partner was so impressed when we saw the Rakes in Derby earlier this year that she requested a repeat viewing. Not of the Rakes though, of the support band, the Official Secrets Act. As they're currently still a little known band, we're not expecting a large crowd and the Bodega is perhaps a little over half full.

First up are a young looking guitar band from Nottingham called Frontiers. So young in fact that they seem to have brought their proud parents along to swell the crowd.
The band are far from original and call on a whole range of influences but they definitely have potential. They have some really great intros, although a few of the songs fell away a little thereafter. At first I'm not over impressed with lead singer Alex Noble, as it seemed at times that he had trouble coping with playing guitar and singing vocals at the same time but he seemed to grow more confident as the set went on.

It’s clear that Joy Division are in his record collection. Frontiers became the latest band to cover ‘Shadowplay’. Well isn’t everybody doing it. I hate having to keep mentioning good old Brandon but Frontiers version was definitely better than his.

Certainly a band I'll be looking to see again, if only to see how they develop.

Another band with too many influences to mention are Official Secrets Act. Although I thought they were good when we saw them earlier this year, I wasn't totally enamoured with them but on second listen they're certainly getting there. Tonight they are in Nottingham promoting their d├ębut album 'Understanding Electricity'.

They play a confident and energetic set to the small crowd with Tom Burke not looking quite so spaced out this time. In fact he's looking Mr Cool and professional tonight as he purposefully dishes out his vocals. The bass player too had cleaned up his act and ditched the war paint but the keyboard player lets the side down a touch by having, what looks like, glitter in his chest hairs!

It's easy to play spot the influence. Tonight I think Razorlight or the Strokes perhaps but don't hold that against them, it's still a good performance where the singles 'So Tomorrow' and 'Victoria' stand out. They can certainly play and they are one of a growing number of bands whose members can interchange with each other instruments.

I feel they are already at a crossroads, where they go from here will be interesting. They could be the next indie success story of the ilk of say Franz Ferdinand or Arctic Monkeys but if a major label gets hold of them they could be the next 'Scouting For Girls'. Worrying.

Afterwards we're at the mechanising stall but no one is there, then Tom Burke rushes across and serves us himself. Rock n roll. We even get a pound off for having the display item.

'Understanding Electricity' is out on Monday.


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