This concert kind of rushed up on me - a sudden posted video and tour dates - Euros Childs was coming to town again. It had been a busy weekend - up to the Forum on Friday - birthday walks and meals (I was cooking not celebrating - I mean I was celebrating but it wasn't my birthday) on Saturday and then here - back in the heart of the city on a Sunday evening. Summer sun fading and a grin on my face - I was heading to The Lexington for another dose of that roogie boogie magic (and it is magic he weaves - with his merry men and woman - real magic)
I hadn't had a chance to listen to Sweetheart - released on the Friday - you can get it from The National Elf himself if you want - so some of this set was going to be like the first time I saw him (you) - unknown set lists and tunes - which added an edge of anticipation for me - not necessarily for Euros Childs and the band - they knew what was coming.
But I didn't and it was a blast.
There's a certain sweeping charm to the whole affair - 8pm Oh Peas! plays - all chords and words - gentle and humourous - a girl and a guitar - cutting and tender - whilst various members of the Euros gang - mingle and pace - drink tea and get the errands out the way.
I think I've seen Euros now about eight times - now that's a fair amount of times in my book - I once followed The Cure over most of England with my brother - I didn't backcomb my hair - I was getting into Spaceman 3 to be honest - but that was different - we were young. My brother has now taken to following PINS around - I'm sticking to Euros - he just has that pull about him - a merry prankster - a simple guy with simple songs - but oh my there's so much more than that.
So here he is - new recording in the bag - recorded in a week in his parent's place - and now Euros is on the road - with a full band again to play to people who appreciate that sort of thing - and there are a lot of us. We fill The Lexington up - we are a throng - a mixed bag - eclectic - like these roogie boogie warriors. Stage set up - conversations had with two fifths of the group (Stu Kidd and Marco Rea of The Wellgreen, Dr Cosmos's Tape Lab, Poundstore Riot, and BMX Bandits fame - you should be buying all their records too)
Euros arrives on stage all nervous legs and tics - green t-shirt and jeans (there used to be a feature in J17 - a teenage girl's mag - I used to read it in my cousin's house up in Scotland - it had piece about how much your fashion cost that you were wearing - they took pictures in the street - I can't help costing out my outfit every time I go out - I had planned on asking Euros what his outfit would have cost - in my head I thought that would be a good opening interview question - you come up with these type of ideas when crossing the river - South to North)
Anyway he launches into Horse Riding - this band are on fire. He's not really easy to classify - to me it's straight forward rock n roll - yes we have that psychedelic thing, that folk thing, that krautrock repetition thing - but he keeps it wrapped up in rock n roll - not all leather jackets and spitting - but performance - integrity and show - like Elvis did - like Jerry Lee Lewis keeps doing - with a slight nod to Little Richard (it's all in the show)
The set continues with a healthy selection from Sweetheart - Fruit and Veg - Julia Sky - Sweetheart and Lady Caroline - and you can see the pleasure it brings - an album recorded in a week - with a band - and what a new long player it is. I don't know where he finds the melodies - perhaps it's being in his parent's place - where the album was recorded - but he just keeps churning out these pop beauties for us all - ones that keep us smiling through winter.
At one point Euros tells us that touring from city to city has resulted in the invention of a game called 'who's on the plane?' A sort of reversal of the Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Big Bopper disaster (you know when the music died) whereby you can chose the artists who are on it (the plane) in the likelihood it's going down (there should be an app for that - I'd download it)
Euros tells us that Dave Stewart has firmly booked his place on that plane.
Harmonies and riffs - Euros states the simple feeling of feeling love - of feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed - both rejected and welcomed - hugged and shunned in tales of happiness and woe (sometimes with a ghost check out Lady Caroline) And the set continues to build with ( despite contractual show business stops for Laura J Martin whose adding flute and mandolin sparingly but as always effectively tonight) further musical explorations of love and feelings.
We get Billy and the sugar loaf Mountain - and the layering of voices is sublime - and an audience sing a long of Daddy's Girl ( we may have out sung Wales) before a stormer of song called Bycycle of Bees - which may be an old one - it may be a new one - it's most definitely a good one. Building and building as Marco's guitar screeches and wails in walls of sound. It's that psychedelic thing again. A band connecting and taking you somewhere else.
Followed by Heywood Lane - which I'd been singing all week. And then a rip-roaring Roogie Boogie to round the night off. But we (the audience that is) we're not ready to go home - we clap - we chant - we want more. (We might not see him for a year). A cheeky call out for the whole of Miracle Inn - but instead we get Tete a Tete and a wonderful full band Spin that Girl Around. And then they are gone. Well not gone - Euros is up and off to sell the sounds - from his stand at the back of the room.
He captures human emotions for me
He captures feeling alive
It is evident that he has not taken a Dave Stewart angle to any of this pop making process.
Thank fuck. We can buy Dave Stewart - or DS as we call him round here (infact it's a little known fact the Nintendo DS actually refers to Dave Stewart - but that's another story) a ticket for the first seat on the 747 - that's a big plane - we can all think of other passengers.
Euros Childs will not be on that plane.
You can be certain of that.
Sweetheart is available at The National Elf website
And here is Machine (off the new album - and live at The Lexington)
Thanks to seajohnster for posting this to YouTube