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Bouvier @ The Prior’s Inn, Bury St Edmunds

(May 15th 2003)

Previous attempts to see Bouvier play live have been thwarted. That’s what getting a job does for you – I seem to be the only bloke here troubled by the thought of an overflowing in-tray tomorrow morning. Unless they’ve started getting in-trays at school now. I always seem to be going on about how old I feel these days, but when I see children eating sherbert out of long straws at the front of the stage I start to lose faith. There’s a gang of nu-metal teens in the corner fondling phallic green sticks that glow in the dark and a fluff-bearded bunch of wannabee Hicksville, Arizona gas station attendants standing round a chap miming in extraordinarily graphic detail how he took this monkey from behind. Several times. They don’t seem to care that there’s a band on. Was that me, ten years ago? (I hope not.) Am I turning into my dad? (Yes.)

Bouvier are the Good Samaritans for this fallen Possession. Blessed with songs so beatifically glorious you should kneel to listen, a singer more than able to do them full spiritual justice and a tight, tight unit with the love of the Fillmore in their hearts, brothers and sisters, they toss me a lifeline and I cling to it. I have been saved. I always knew it would be this way. When the Old Testament arrived in the form of the first demo I preached at length the folk-rock gospel. When the New Testament followed hot on its heels, I was flexing my new-found evangelical muscles and converting heathens left, right and centre.

And so to tonight’s service. The first lesson: Bouvier rock hard live. The subtle edginess and the odd left-turn beat and the blues/jazz/folk love and knowledge of the demos are all still there, but buried under a big bottom end. Are there spandex and cod-pieces beneath those imaginary cassocks?. The second lesson: Rosey’s voice is incredible. From nothing to everything and back again in a single breath. She is the preacher and we are the flock, her sermon is irresistible and I am ready to repent.

As the set winds down, the band wind up and at the climax, Rosey gasps one final syllable.. "FUCK!" A ray of sunshine shoots down from above, a halo appears above the stage. The world stands still. A pause. Applause. We return to normality. Bouvier dish out a box of CDs to an enthusiastic crowd and take down pages of addresses. Perhaps I was too harsh. I might not be on the same planet as them but the kids are alright.

[An edit of this review is in Careless Talk Cost Lives]

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