Gig Review

Bare Naked Ladies
Joel Plaskett, Boothy Graffoe
Birmingham, Academy

10th September 2010
Bare Naked Ladies      Joel Plaskett                   
Boothy Graffoe

Photo Of Boothy Graffoe © Copyright James DalyTonight I decided I’d go for something different and try a bit of indie folk instead of the normal metal or punk, a bit of a refreshing change of pace. Tonight Canada’s finest, the Barenaked Ladies are playing the o2 academy in Birmingham and as I’ve always had a soft spot for them I’d head on down. Arriving at the venue I can see BNL attract a wide range of different ages from young kids with their parents to old folks with their carers.

The first act on the bill is Boothby Graffoe, a comedy vetran who writes material for people such as Omid Djalil and who has his own show on Radio 4. He comes on stage with his pint and instantly makes jokes about Birmingham, most of his short set is mainly him making jokes but the bits of music he does play is funny and keeps the crowd happy. For his last song he is joined on stage by BNL bassist Jim Creeggan and he sings a song about Hartlepool in which he gets the crowd to join in whilst he records his rhythms and layers them up over one another live to make a rich fun song.

Photo Of Joel Plaskett © Copyright James DalyThe next act on is Canadian indie musician Joel Plaskett, who unlike Boothby before him has little banter with the audience and just plays the songs, but its great as his songs are rich and full of heart. His latest album is called 3 to 1 and is all about the number 3 which is summed up with his song Through Through and Through a catchy number that reminds me of Bruce Springsteen in places. His songs are beautiful, folksy and have soulful melodic rhythms, its breezy Sunday morning music that’s good to listen to with a hangover. Joel says “where in the home of Sabbath so lets rock” and whips out a 5 dollar keyboard and plays some samba beats whilst using the organ setting, not really rocking but a nice song to sway your hips to.

So the supports are over, and now it’s time for BNL, and as I’m waiting in the photo pit I catch a glimpse of the set list which is 19 songs long, so the audience are in for a treat of songs from all their albums spanning 20 years. They get off to a great start by playing the catchy and upbeat ‘who needs sleep’ then onto ‘the old apartment’ a song about going back to your old house where you and your ex used to live and all the memories it brings back. After that they go into a rap about Birmingham talking about the city centre including things like Selfridges and The Bull Ring. These multi talented musicians switch instruments throughout the gig and also have great crowd banter, they talk about not being used to venues where you can see the carpet pattern, and how they dare the audience to put your tongue on the carpet for two seconds!

Photo Of Bare Naked Ladies © Copyright James DalyThe band switches styles and keeps the gig going by belting out a bit of rock roll and guitar solos during ‘I have learned’ and then switch a barbershop style and introduce creepy Russian style music in ‘wouldn’t have it any other way’. BNL are definitely varied as they play a song from their children’s album and then go into a covers medley, which includes; oh ho ho its magic, empire state of mind, tonight’s gonna be a good night then ending on California girls. Whilst they do this amazing medley they dance like Ok Go and do a rap which thanks the audience for coming.

BNL are great and my only bad word is the choice of song they end on which is a terribly slow song called ‘good boy’. I feel they should have ended on one of their hits or the theme tune to Big Bang Theory, but all in all it was a great gig with a lot going on and it may not be rock but it was a great night.

Bare Naked Ladies – 4.5/5
Joel Plaskett – 4/5
Boothy Graffoe - 3/5

Review By James Daly

 Bare Naked Ladies

Jim Creeggan
Kevin Hearn
Ed Robertson
Tyler Stewart

 Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

 Boothby Graffoe

Boothby Graffoe

 Band Related Links
Bare Naked Ladies Myspace
Joel Plaskett Myspace
Boothby Graffoe Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?