Jeffrey Lewis - Live Review with support from Misty's Big Adventure @ Star & Garter Manchester

Jeffrey Lewis

Jeffrey Lewis - Live Review with support from Misty’s Big Adventure @ Star & Garter Manchester

Jeffrey Lewis with support from Misty’s Big Adventure;
Star & Garter Manchester ( 20/09/2004)

Grandmaster Gareth and his eight cohorts (including a guy called Erotic Volvo who parades around in a bright red costume with blue gloves plastered all over it!) play the game of life as though it is just that; a game, an adventure; Misty's Big Adventure. Incorporating instruments such as a saxophone and a range of kiddies' toys, this Birmingham nine piece introduced themselves with an instrumental melee and collective reiteration of their band name. They are fast becoming the Midland 's answer to Madness, as no matter what they do, they do it with an enviable sense of fun.

Jeffrey Lewis - Live Review with support from Mistys Big Adventure @ Star & Garter Manchester

Misty's performed a colourful set with a variety of numbers, from fun and all out whacky as in the above mentioned track, as well as Smothered in Love' and Cool With A Capital C' to songs with a serious edge, such as the politically tinged Escalator, Elevator, Stairs' and the foray into issues of the heart that is the compelling; The Story of Love has a Beginning, a middle and an end'. These Mosseley marauders proudly paraded themselves and fun inducing numbers, including tracks extracted from their forthcoming album Misty's Big Adventure and Their Place in The Solar Hi-Fi System'. This album and tonight's performance will most definitely facilitate Misty's mission that is seemingly to become the epitome of eccentricity.

The feeling of glee and relief felt by the crowd was probably similar to that of most of the nation on hearing the news that hackers have shut down Busted's website, as Jeffrey Lewis and his band (comprising of younger brother Jack on bass/vox and Dave Beauchamp on drums) took to the stage at the belated hour of 23;30. Jeff humbly strummed his guitar, as the singing scud missile that is Jack Lewis launched into the frenetic art punk opener; The Man with the Golden Arm' from the zany debut album The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane'. The first of Jeff's acapella offerings accompanied by his now expected video production (well a sketched A3 flip pad production to be precise) was a tribute to the genius of Mark. E. Smith in The Story of The Fall'. With a third album looming around the corner Lewis aficionados will have been pleased on hearing the new songs, with them being as ambitious and mind boggling as previous offerings. For example, the gathered stage gazers were treated to a work in progress; a flip pad presentation covering the complete history of the concept of communism.

The usual favourites of If You Shoot the Head You Kill the Ghoul' from the second album, and the ever popular non album offering Champion Jim' that is a delicious super hero parody, illuminated a diverse and bold set. The nifty New Yorker was in a reflective mood it appeared tonight, as philosophical and soothing anti-folk numbers like Back When I was Four' and Alphabet' that wrestle with the topic of life and the meaning of it, or mankind's purpose in it, found a place in the largely improvised set. The buzz that lingered in the tight and compact venue for a lengthy period after the amazing Jeffrey Lewis had vacated the stage is probably still plaguing the sound engineer even now.

David Adair

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