I went to an excellent gig at the Victoria in Dalston on Monday night. Top of the bill were our old friends the Trebling Bells, who were fantastic as always. They treated us to some very promising new material. One new song - I think it was called "The Bradford Riots" - really stood out, sounding like a "Liege and Lief" out-take with Alex Neilson channelling Dave Mattacks. But what made the evening extra special was the quality of the support acts. It is not often you see such a strong bill.
Second on the bill were The Magnetic Mind - think a young Cher fronting a particularly scuzzy garage band. The openers were Hidden Manners, a dynamic trio from Glasgow who dabbled in all things psychedelic. Think of a prefix or suffix that goes with "psych", they do them all and often in the course of the same number, showing a healthy disregard for conventional song structure. If I was forced to choose between them I would pick Hidden Masters, but only just.
Both bands have a single out. The Magnetic Mind's "Maybe The Stars, Maybe The Sun" is on Heavy Soul 45s, while Hidden Master's "Nobody Knows That We Are Here" is on State Records. Check 'em out!
Back to the Bells. With Lavinia, Alex and elongated guitarist Mike Hastings commanding so much attention there is a danger of taking for granted Simon Shaw on bass. That would be very foolish, for he is a bit of a polymatch in his own right. Amongst other credits, in 1999 he co-founded Lucky Luke, whose members included at one point a certain Alex Neilson. The Luckies were more overtly folky than the Bells, but their strain of Celtic psychedelia can still be heard very strongly in their successors' sound.
Lucky Luke released their debut album "Patrick The Survivor" in 2005. A second album, "Travelling For A Living" was recorded around the same time but not released until last year. Here is one song from each.
"Fear Eats The Soul" - Lucky Luke (from "Patrick The Survivor")
"Jackie" - Lucky Luke (from "Travelling For A Living")
And here are some more lucky, lucky people.