Monday, 15 September 2014

11/5/2013 Jelly, Healthy Junkies & Lesbian Bed Death @ The Unicorn

Saturday night finds me heading down to Camden - I seem to be at The Unicorn quite a lot these days and I quite like the place. It's always free to get in the drinks are at normal pub prices - always a cheap night out. This is a night of mostly female fronted bands and it's a pretty good bill. Unfortunately I can't make it early enough to catch Gasoline Thrill though.

The first band I do manage to see is the interestingly named Lesbian Bed Death
 This band have been around in one form or another for a few years now, but the lineup has been somewhat unstable and gigs have been rare. Hopefully this is now changing.
The band play dirty riff-laden rock with a snarling attitude. There is a Goth influence, a metal edge, and a punk attitude. They sound good tonight.
They play well and look like experienced musicians - they also have a frontwoman with an arresting stage presence.
 Lesbian Bed Death are certainly an interesting sounding band who I'd go and see again.

A band I've been going to see again quite a few times now are Healthy Junkies. This lot have improved enormously as a live band - regular gigging makes all the difference to any band's performance and Healthy Junkies have worked hard at this. Their tuneful brand of pop/punk/grunge influenced rock seems to be winning them more friends at every gig. There seem to be some lineup changes afoot; there is a mystery bass player tonight and instead of their usual drummer Danny Fury (usually seen fronting Tango Pirates) is filling in on drums - it has to be said he is doing rather a good job.
Having good songs also makes a big difference, and Healthy Junkies stand well above most their peers in this respect. Have a rather good debut album in 'Sick Note' under their belt has not made this band rest on their laurels and they have been at work for a while on their second album. We get to hear a song or two from the forthcoming album tonight and it sounds promising. Sorry there aren't many pictures of this band - I was having a lot of trouble with my broken camera.
Regular gigging has also helped Healthy Junkies build a bit of a following and there are always people at their gigs - again their hard work is starting to pay off. Check this band out if you get a chance...

Tonight's headliners are Jelly and this is their album launch party. Having seen this band a few times now I'm finding songs like 'Say Hello' and 'Get Out Of Jail' are getting stuck in my head.
Tonight's previous band featured a member of Tango Pirates on drums - Jelly also feature a member of Tango Pirates on bass in the form of Vera Wilde, but she is no stand-in. The band's debut album tonight is in aid of is called 'Troubadour, Wizard, The Queen And The Machine' - Vera is 'The Queen'. There are certainly some memorable tunes on there and along with 'Best Of Us Yet' we get to hear most of them tonight.
All the band have been around and 'paid their dues' serving in other bands over the years. In an interesting turn, as in tonight's previous band there is a swap in roles. Danny Fury moved from singer to drums depping in Healthy Junkies, and Jelly's singer Stevie Bray (The Troubadour) used to play drums for a well known North London female punk/new wave singer back in the day... Stepping out from behind the drum kit is something maybe Stevie should have done years earlier and he appears a natural and relaxed frontman with a  distinctive and theatrical charisma.
 Guitarist Mickey Howard (The Wizard) and drummer Martin Drees (The Machine) have also been seen onstage with various well known bands in the past.
The bands music is full-on rock, with influences from New Wave, to classic rock, alt-rock, and hints of pop/punk tunefulness. It's quite infectious stuff and you soon get drawn in by the memorable songs and class musicianship on offer.
You can tell that the members of this band have 'paid their dues' in past bands - their performance is polished and professional - this is a band who really know what they are doing. I pick up a copy of the band's new album after the show - it's rather good!

Even if I had to pay a few quid on the door this would still have been a great value for money night out - The Unicorn is the best kept secret on the Camden gig scene.

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