Bart Davenport/Homescience/Amazing Pilots/Ladybug Transistor (The Arts Cafe, London)

On Saturday people on the boating lake in Regent’s Park may have been pleasantly reminded of the age of imperialism by the sight of a small yellow girl rowing a tall poncily reclining white guy round the lake, although Alec had admittedly rowed me round the lake for the previous 45 minutes, and the Irish arguably have as much cause for resentment about imperialism as us yellow people do.

At night I’d decided to indulge my delusions of indieness by going to a gig at the Arts Cafe. We had a good time, but I ended up enjoying the performance of Bart Davenport (who wasn’t even advertised) most, and Ladybug Transistor (the only band I’d actually heard of) least. In between those two were Homescience (not the most cohesive or animated performers around, but their songs were mildly Pavementy so I liked them well enough) and The Amazing Pilots (who were, in contrast, incredibly cohesive, really got into their performance, and had much better rapport with the crowd, but whose songs were for the most part less interesting except for one called I Thought About It And I’ve Still Not Changed My Mind, which lived up to its rather great title).

Alec bought Bart Davenport’s CD on the strength of what he managed with just the quality of his voice, his songs, his guitar and the occasional kazoo, but it turned out to be disappointingly glossier – a bit too sunkissed and xylophoney – than what we’d been expecting from the performance. Still pleasant enough though, and well worth looking up if you like Summer Hymns or Yuji Oniki, who produced some of the CD.

There was nothing I specifically disliked about Ladybug Transistor, but there seemed to be a sameness to all aspects of their performance and their songs that didn’t capture me at all. In response to the last sentence of this review at Pitchfork, I guess I do just prefer the less sophisticated and trippier ways of channelling 60s sound that the Elephant 6 bands come up with (which reminds me, must go listen to my Olivia Tremor Control CDs for maximum summerness).