|Subject||Healthy Junkies & Maleficent @ The Unicorn|
|DateCreated||4/22/2012 3:13:00 PM|
Getting away from the 'Holloway Strip' tonight (but only just) I find myself at my old stamping ground of The Unicorn in Camden. It's a free gig as they all are at this venue, but this one is in aid of a cancer care charity so everyone is invited to throw some money in the collection bucket.
There are several bands playing but I'm only here to see a couple of them and I've never heard of the others. Even though it's Saturday night and it's free to get in the place isn't exactly packed - I guess people think this part of Camden isn't 'cool' enough - or more likely they are just to lazy to explore or walk more than five minutes from Camden Town or Chalk Farm tube stations.
It's a shame as it's not a bad place, even if the free admission and lack of security means the local lowlifes tend to frequent the place and like in The Good Mixer the ladies need to keep a firm grip on their handbags.
No real ales here, but the beer prices are very reasonable for a music venue - if you can actually get served - which is a problem tonight as there are only two people behind the bar and (would be) customers are waiting ten or fifteen minutes to get served.
And so, onto the bands.
Maleficent are away from their usual turf and potentially out of their comfort zone in this smallish pub venue, but they acquit themselves well.
It's unusual seeing this band on such a small stage and there isn't much room for Maleficent Martini's usual theatrics and ballet moves, although she does well in the circumstances - I can't imagine this band performing at the 12 Bar Club though!
Maleficent have changed quite a bit since I first saw them several years ago, but the changes are for the better. It's now much more of a real band with virtually all the music being played live instead of the previous reliance on samples/DAT/laptop generated sounds. This is much more the real thing.
Work has also been done to improve the vocals and visual dynamics. A management deal is also now in place so you may well be seeing more of this lot and their dark Goth/rock/metal stylings soon...
Next up are Healthy Junkies - another band who have worked hard over the last year or so and have raised their game.
The band must have been rehearsing hard as they are much tighter than when I first saw them and they are now developing into a really good live band.
Tonight see's one of the band's strongest performances yet and they are developing more of a style of their own with singer Nina showing noticably less of a Katie Jane Garside influence recently and letting more of her own style shine through.
After releasing a strong debut album in 'Sick Note' this band are definitely on the up. They certainly have some catchy and memorable pop/rock songs, with new stuff being added to their set as well now enabling them to drop their cover of '20th Century Boy' and play a set of all original material.
After the band finish I head off homewards to finish the night in my local - where I don't have to wait ten or fifteen minutes to get served! Even though I arrive after midnight the cover band is still playing. Unfortunately they are really dull in spite of being good musicians - typical pub band really. What a contrast to what I saw earlier. Still, at least the beer is really good and it's only a short stagger home an hour later.
Not a bad Saturday night at all.