Amelia’s Magazine | Naive New Beaters @ Ghost School

So it’s Friday night again and, its fair to say that I’m looking forward to a beer or two. Tonight’s main attraction, aside from the alcohol, is Ghost School at the Macbeth with Naïve New Beaters.

Having sunk a few beers we are greeted by the arrival on stage of the first band, Grand Pocket Orchestra, who, over the next 60 minutes, played a plethora of squawky, offbeat songs with equal measures of distortion and quirky melody that managed to very much divide opinion amongst my group of friends. Vocally, Paddy sounds like a cross between Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat fame and a child having a tantrum. Not an entirely unpleasant combination by any means, as the rest of the band proceed to twang away at their instruments with varying degrees of gusto (Bronwyn, the band’s only female member makes Meg White look positively animated). At that point, my group of friends were fairly critical of GPO and agreed only with the vocal sound alike references. Personally, I quite enjoyed them. They have a laziness not dislike Pavement and something in common with Modest Mouse , although I’m not quite sure what! It’s all a bit kooky, wonky and a bit out-of tune; but upon listening to the songs recorded they seem to have the balance about right. Mid-set their singer appeared to have a bit of a hissy-fit that looked like he couldn’t quite overcome the reality that, although perhaps looking vaguely cool in a very cliché fashion, if he throws his guitar on the floor too hard, he may then actually break it and have to buy a new one. Despite this comedy Grand Pocket Orchestra a worth a listen.

By the time Naïve New Beaters arrived, the venue had really filled up and despite being more or less at the front; the obligatory tall guy appeared and stood in front of me. Between people’s heads I could see guys wearing splendid jumpers as the set began with sparklers being lit, then pierced through said jumper of the brave keyboard player. NNB proceeded to storm through their next three songs with increasing attention from the growing crowd. Finally, the evening really got going and it started to feel like a party.

NNB are an interesting band really, because it would be all too easy to write them off as yet another ‘of the moment’ electro/indie type bands who we’ll forget about in a month’s time. This may well be the case in the fickle world of music, but on Friday night at the Macbeth they really shone and everyone genuinely seemed to be having fun. All the songs are suitably upbeat and title track from the current EP, Live Good is so popular that it got played twice. So an evening of dancing commences and everyone I speak to is suitably enamoured with NNB.

I stayed on after the bands to drink some more and by this stage the Macbeth was heaving. The upstairs smoking gallery provided the perfect opportunity to get into bizarre drunken conversations with group of people that is actually pretty friendly. By this point I kinda feel like I’m at a house party – granted, I spent way more money than I would have at a house party. And despite the crowd’s attempts to prevent me from getting anywhere near the bar, Ghost School was well worth a visit and NNBS were a fitting accompaniment.

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