Farewell Odd Socks w. James Knight/The Bear Around Your Kneck/Homemade Lemonade/Ponies and Kriss Foster. – The Park Hotel 11/09/09.
Harry Naybors here with report on Odd Socks’ farewell show at The Park Hotel, Bowerham.
For those of us who can’t, or won’t remember 2007 – and I put myself in said category, it was allegedly sometime that year when Odd Socks began disseminatin’ their unique blend of Latin, Ska and general pop fayre across the county.
Well received locally? Feel free to comment. I thought they were pretty good. Infectious on the energy front and musically tight as a duck’s bill, or rear end, respectively (and respectfully).
Friday September 11th would see a final performance from Odd Socks before they each shipped out to Higher Ed pursuits across the country. Hence to bid farewell in style and finesse, they enlisted a gamut of local entertainment to support their throwing something of a last gig/going away party.
I’m told meta-social, 21st Century Panopticon Facebook was handy in generating some last minute interest in the night’s proceedings? However, since I abhor such popularist vagrancy and tend towards getting my news from the same place I get my drugs (caffeine, be assured) – THE STREETS! A sparse piece of trans-legal fly posting ensured Harry Naybors knew when and where to attend … and attend he did!
[read on, dear reader …]
When my man and I arrived on the scene a big haired, rugged chap in glasses was endearing himself to the crowd with the polite sound of guitar, considered voice and harmonica. The Bear Around Your Neck, as he’s regionally known, gave good show with some very impassioned moments on a par with the very best of moments I’ve enjoyed with passion cake. Well done. Stick with him, I’ll say. www.myspace.com/thebeararoundyourneck
Since I missed the opening proceedings – gastric reflux – I was well pleased to see James Knight take to the stage between acts. James came up roses with his seamless compere and rare breed of performance poetry. Looking foxy in tight jeans and plaid cotton shirt, James matched razor wit with style. The sooner this man starts a fashion line the sooner I can buy some clothes worth wearing. Be sure to catch him at future events. www.myspace.com/animalwrites
Keeping with high-fashions, midway through, two more finely dressed gentlemen adorned the stage area for what I’m told passes for Homemade Lemonade in this locale? They were very good, I’ll say. ‘Strong and emotive songwriting twinned with sweeping soundscapes’ (quote requests to www.everybody-loves-good-naybors-dot-org.org). I collared one of these young scrappers by the drinks fountain to ask how they made out. What followed shan’t be repeated here save to say the average person spends two weeks of their lives kissing and reader, be assured: Homemade Lemonade are no average persons!
Outside of model looks and attire, these boys rock a very unique sound; blending electro-acoustic ambiance with more traditional songforms. Whilst on occasion they seemed wont to get more wholly behind their songs, in a loose and informal setting they came across very well. I’ve caught them a coupla times now and every show brings a new dimension. Lilting and kind of wrenching alternately, songs left a mark on Naybors that didn’t wash off easy – and I’m a two showers a day kind of guy!
Like lemurs, Homemade Lemonade are something to see, hear and feel in all their glory. www.myspace.com/homemadelemonademusic
After this, the ageing Ponies strapped on an electric guitar for a brief impersonation of millionaire ranch hand Neil Young – complete with step shuffles and hip gyration. I’ve seen Ponies a few times now, and he always manages to raise his voice above mine. My man and I were well on with a chat about the next move for Sarkozy and there he is belting on about some mythical beast or other. He seems like a bright chap with a coupla good songs, but don’t expect any hospitality from this one. www.myspace.com/poniesetc
Much anticipated, a rare appearance from Lancaster’s answer to George Formby – Kriss Foster, promptly followed; with Kriss treating the crowd to three of his cleaner numbers. Let’s not mince words, it was good to see him back on the local stage after a sojourn. Foster got the warmest reception prior to Odd Socks and was well heeled for his troubles (c/o Ponies’ recent Pools winnings, apparently!?). Local export and national treasure: Kriss Foster for Everyone! www.myspace.com/krissfoster
Last of all, Odd Socks took the stage to the crowds’ heady kudos. Didn’t have to play a note such was this welcome return. After much thanks from singer Xoe Whitfield to all the supporting acts, and for all those who made it up that long and arduous hill (Bowerham) to The Park, Odd Socks took off. Solid high energy performances from their entire catalogue plus two covers (radio favorite ‘Valery’ by the Zutons and Selecter dithyramb ‘Too Much Pressure’). Much dancing, singalongs and general merriment. Class act. Well received, well done. www.myspace.com/oddsocksuk
By midnight, Naybors was feeling the turn coming on so my man and I ducked out. Managed to squeeze in an episode of Twin Peaks before bed. ‘Gold Box Edition’ – recommended.