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Music Editorial

postmortem---alex-butler.jpg Alex Butler

First on the bill tonight, The Eleven appear streamlined as an acoustic duo. Two guitars and two near-perfectly matched voices combine brilliantly on their timeless sounding compositions and especially on The Crow.

Imagine The Everley Brothers meeting Turin Brakes(!). They do a nice version of Neil Young’s Ohio and have a decent stab at The Beatles’ Two of Us. Good start. Next up are Brave Yesterday, on tour all the way from Jersey. Their American-style high-octane pop punk is tight; driven; loud but ultimately struggles in the face of the small and rather apathetic crowd. Local lads Revolver also seem to suffer from this lack of atmosphere – the lead singer seems particularly disgruntled – which is a shame as their brand of pysch indie would go down well in a different setting, at a different time. They do carry off a sweet version of Liam Gallagher’s Songbird though. The crowd has trebled in size however as Alex Butler brings his charisma and stage presence to the evening. Backed by a new four-piece band - giving his new wave/ ska songs broader melodic arrangements, including some subtle Vox organ - he’s free to fling himself around the tiny stage and only dons the Fender Strat for a handful of numbers. Every song is a vivid collection of dry observational lyrics delivered in that Alex Turner- via-Tyneside voice. Finishing off with Angela, it’s over all too soon in a whirlwind of classic pop sensibility and his many fans head off contentedly. Another fine gig at The Central (four acts for £5 admission), it’s just a pity that more didn’t make it up the stairs earlier.

Andrew Swinney

May 2013