23/03/2009 by AndreaUrbanFox
Some days are better than others and last Saturday was one
of the better days. I’d go as far as to quote Lou Reed “Just a perfect day,
problems all left alone”.
That bright and warm thing in the sky that you kids call the
sun was beaming down relentlessly which is most unusual but very welcome after
months of simply miserable weather. The only problem with these early sunny
days is the pasty white legs and spare tires on show. Although this is a small problem,
catching a sight of the offending body parts can be blinding if the sun
reflects from them at a particular angle.
So, after deciding not to venture outside preferring the
comfort of my friends sofa, I settled down for a 7hrs non stop Rugby. Yes folks, I am one of those people who howl at the
Sun gone, Rugby over, yours
truly well satisfied with the results, it was time to put on some slap and go
out. The Idea was to go to this gig at a pub not far from my friend’s gaff,
where I spend most of my weekends. I only intended to see one band, Eastroad (www.myspace.com/eastroad) However,
once I got there and realized it was a mini music festival in aid of a
worthwhile cause I decided to stay.
The venue was The Grove Tavern (www.myspace.com/thegrovewimbledon),
conveniently located straight across the road from South Wimbledon Tube. For
many years it was nothing but a run down pub badly managed which attracted the
lower echelons of south London.
Glad to say those days are well and truly over. From the large comfy sofas to
the semi secluded good size beer garden, from the well dressed hunky door staff
to the young, cute and friendly bad staff and with a good size stage with
pretty good acoustics, The Grove has had a face lift and reinvented itself.
I got there kind of late and there was a small queue to get
in. There was also a symbolic 1 Pound charge to enter. That said, the 1 Pound
included you in a raffle draw for which the prize was a guitar. All the
proceedings of the night went straight to Re-Play Music Festival (www.myspace.com/upstreammusicfestival)
which is an initiative where people donate their old, broken and/or unwanted
musical instruments, they are refurbished and donated to schools, prisons
and/or individuals who can’t afford to buy one. I think it’s a great idea and
worthy cause. They have my full support and I’d like to think that all of you
reading this will also try to help by means of donations, spreading the word or
making The Grove your preferred booza.
The first band I saw was Mary Jane Burning (www.myspace.com/maryjaneburning).
By the time I got there they were mid set so perhaps my review of them should
be limited to an “ok performance but nothing special” because I might have
missed out on some brilliant song or fireworks display. But from the 3 songs I
got to hear nothing but second guitarist sticks to mind. Err…I lie. I vividly
remember everything but to go any further would be unkind. Just one question:
What was that girl doing onstage?
The following act was Eastroad. Well, what can I say about Eastroad
which I haven’t already said in several reviews of their gigs? Not much. Taking
away the technical difficulty they had during performing the first song, their act
was delivered just fine. I did have a feeling, for the first time, that maybe
the bass player should be the front man. He certainly has more of an onstage
presence, more rock `n roll. Food for thought.
Time for Action. No need to be alarmed or get up. This is
the actual name of the band that proceeded. I must say that I had no great
expectations of this band. I have never heard of them, they looked young enough
to not be allowed in a pub and I’m no great lover of ska. But the truth must be
said: Time for Action (www.myspace.com/tfapunk)
rocked my socks! The music was a fusion of several genres: ska, punk, reggae,
hard rock…all topped up with a perfect dose of irreverence and rebellion. The kids, I mean, the musicians were well rehearsed
and as tight as a rats arse! I loved every minute of it! Meg, the lead
singer/guitar/harmonic has a huge onstage presence. His energy was immeasurable
and his political speeches took me back to a time where people gave a damn
about politics instead of this herd of sheep of today. I wish Time for Action
all the very best and urge you to try catch one of their shows.
Now then, from a never heard of band to the winners of last
year Indie Awards: The Penny Black Remedy (www.myspace.com/pennyblackremedy).
It is easy to see why they were the winners. They are obviously natural born, professional
musicians. Every song played was delivered flawlessly. Not one single note out.
It was like listening to a mastered album. Their stage presence was pretty good
too. They looked comfortable and seemed to be having fun with each other. Its
not easy trying to describe the genre they fit in to. They say its Balkan alternative
country rock…err…I suppose I’d buy that….whatever that means. If I was asked to
describe their style I would have to say I heard something similar at the last
BarMitzva I attended…just a hell of a lot better. They were the only band to
get just about everybody dancing, including yours truly which is unheard of. My
only fear is that due to the genre they get pigeonholed as world music. They
have a new album out now, so don’t take my word for it, just go get the album
and make your own mind up
A heartfelt thanks The Grove staff, new and old customers,
all the artists and Bob the organizer for supporting this cracking initiative.
Also worth mentioning that Green Futures Festival Radio (http://greenfuturesfestivals.org.uk)
was broadcasting this event live. Green Futures has a stage at Glastonbury festival so be sure to go check