Mark Hibbett was up next and, just like on the split 7" on Fortuna Pop that this gig was promoting, he was easily the most throwaway of the four bands. Entertaining for a couple of numbers as he thrashed away at his guitar, playing things that looked like chords but sounded more like cats in mangles, he quickly become samey although his inter-song banter was alright. He covered a couple of songs from musicals but we'd already moved on after noting that, strangely, he was also in Voon (check out the "Brain cakes" review) who sound brilliant.
The Family Way were great. The songs are good, but the chap who plays keyboards/guitar and sings like a lounge veteran is a star. Swinging his hand and clicking his fingers like Max Bygraves and shuffling back and forth on the spot in his patent leather shoes and purple pimp-suit, he should be doing the chat show rounds right now. Much, much better live than on record.
And John Sims were just excellent. They'll get tired of the Stereolab comparisons I'm sure, but they'll have to live with it. Drone and bleep with a sure-footed pop grace and beatbox rhythms tied-up nicely by Julie's vocals...sweet-sounding with a vicious streak you only notice when she starts mutilating a hairdresser's dummy head to go with the lyrics. Top quality, if a bit distracted and they gave a smashing interview which you can read elsewhere.
Fortuna Pop: 4 Well Yard Close, Shepshed, Loughborough, Leics, LE12 9TG or firstname.lastname@example.org.