Schwervon!, The Lovely Eggs, Orphans, Little Hero Band– LAWM 49, 26.3.09

Anyone familiar with the Yorkshire House in Lancaster will know what a thriving venue it is. Tonight it plays host to local promoters LAWM and their penultimate gig. And what a gig! This is the climax for me of a fantastic series of events, forty nine so far, spanning the past three years. On June 12th LAWM will reach its dénouement, and bow out in certain style with a glorious alt folk night.

But back to tonight. The opener, Little Hero, took to stage, full band, with an act that over the past three years has grown in confidence and presence, combining thrashing guitar and bass over driving rhythm. Pete works equally well solo, but this is a different experience, highlighting the versatility of the guy, all pleading, screaming guitars and impassioned vocal. Pete Rawlinson gives the impression he really doesn’t give a shit if you get him or not, and he shouldn’t, because he does more than enough to justify himself amongst tonight’s esteemed company.

Orphans are tight. Kate, or is it Skatey J? on Sax now supplements the reggae, ska, post punk, thundering sound. Fact is, I really like this galloping madness, it sounds like these guys, and girl, are having real fun. The sax definitely gives added clout to the sound and punctuates the ensemble in fine style. ‘Finally we’ve been asked to do LAWM’ they announce, close call guys.

Aw, ‘Lovely Eggs’, I must say I love these two. I think they played the first LAWM, and having seen them a couple of times since, continue to admire their work. I say ‘work’, as the sum total of their output seems to add up to much more than its parts. This is art, rock, madcap fusion working a lo-fi , DIY aesthetic perfectly. From their stage presence and appearance to their lyrical wit and humour, The Lovely Eggs just ‘work’ perfectly. Holly plays the guitar and sings, all kooky, kitsch loveliness. God damn sexy stuff. David bounces around the kit, slide whistle, recorder combo with glee and joy, riffing on Holly’s vocal cues and verbal banterings. Tonight a special ‘Garstang Blue’ cheese song had been written to ease Holly’s pain at giving up cheese for lent. What a crowd pleaser. We’re a cheese loving bunch up here in the north west don’t you know. The set ended with ‘Have you ever heard a digital accordion’, The Lovely Eggs tune that we all seem to know and love. Ok, I think I’ve used the word ‘love’ enough now, lovely stuff.

Schwervon! are cult New York rockers Matt and Nan, bright lights of the NY underground DIY music scene. ‘Its like the ‘White Stripes’, but without the bollocks’ said my companion. Oo, more than that I’d say. The songs swerve and pile on the pressure (see what I did there), they ping pong from tender, mucky ballads to full on throbbing, shit storming screamers. ‘Musical porn’ he added as we swayed around giddily. I can’t quite explain his last comment, but I agree. Schwervon serve up sounds and sensations purloined from so many you love i.e. Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jeffery Lewis, The Stooges etc and present us with a satisfying, original fusion, ready to consume. So far from the mainstream but intense and thrilling. Real catchiness in the tunes belies the appearance of casual ease in their delivery. Watch Nan watching Matt’s every move and you know that these guy are perfectionists, and care deeply about what they do. So if you didn’t see them, poor you, note to self ‘I must do better’.
So, LAWM is preparing for its farewell gig, but I for one don’t think they’ll be away from the music for long. You can’t engineer a night like tonight and then depart; the cold turkey is going to be unbearable.

Wes

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