I used to like The Big Pink. I don’t any more. After the release of a fantastic yet unclaimed first album in 2009, they waited until the year which proclaimed ‘guitar music is dead’ to release a mediocre follow-up. You’d have thought they’d have known where their strengths lay in playing live; hoped that it would be more impressive than the infamous Leeds Festival debacle. Surely they’d be able to plow through a wall-of-sound gig and blow the brains out of the embarrassingly small crowd?
They failed in every department. With the assistance of a laptop-assisted instrumental, they blended a boring, opening track from their second album into recent single ‘Stay Gold’. In vain hope, I expected these electronically assisted blends to occur throughout the gig. The first, crucial strike came with the murder of one of my favorite tracks ‘Velvet’. They literally failed to play their songs properly, the drummer lost count of timing, the guitarist fluffed his chords and the synths were a complete mess. It baffles me how a band featuring a producer could fail to play their own songs, particularly when most of the sound was coming from a laptop. Seemingly on a different planet to the rest of the band, the female drummer drafted in to replace Akiko Matsuura was not up to scratch. With nearly heart-breaking renditions of the once fantastic ‘Crystal Visions’ and ‘Too Young To Love’, all positive elements of their formerly great songs were forgotten.
The most depressing moment of the night came when ‘that song from the Xbox advert’ was unleashed on a crowd which seemed to double for a whole three minutes. ‘These girls fall like Dominoes’ wailed Robbie Furze. As I looked on, I acknowledged a glint of awareness in his eyes that his musical career had fallen like those poor girls.