Friday night saw the Cable Club present the strange phenomenon that is the re-incarnation of Trim Tab Jim and it was another one of those brilliant Brighton gigs full of talented inventive musicianship that seemed to be attended by about two dozen people in the know, along with the bands and assorted bf/gfs. Nonetheless, we were there and we were very pleasantly surprised.
First up were The Dead Reds who seem to reincarnate the sort of bluesy rock band who might have been fifth on the bill supporting the Stones at Altmont in 1969. That would be alright, wouldn’t it? Their muddy gutsy blues-infused rock is well played and the slick songs helped along by some excellent blues harmonica work. They have a new album out called Dark Before Dawn which sounds pretty sweet.
Next up were the Fragile Creatures, another one of those excellent groups of boys around town (like The Common Tongues, Time for T, etc) who are writing some fine tunes and put on a great show. They’re busy recording at the moment and by the sounds of things should have a fine album in the can this year, perfectly capturing an array of top pop sounds that are reminiscent of the best of the 1980s.
Finally, the headliners with a name so bizarre even the support act couldn’t enunciate it and lead Trim Tab made clear that the re-incarnation was apparently important, in a way that sounded ever-so-slightly school-teacherly. The re-incarnation of Trim Tab Jim is a literate story-telling, a 1970s rock opera of sorts, replete with chapter reminders projected on a screen. What the story was I’m none too sure but it didn’t really matter because the individual songs stand up on their own and the band offer a powerful, tight rock sound, that tapped into a bit of peak-era Roxy Music and a few other tricks besides. In fact, with a besuited lead guitarist who looked like Brian Eno and seemed to be conducting an invisible orchestra at times, there was an element of the radical grandeur of mid-70s Bowie. It was a good act. I forget how the story ended, but I’m guessing he isn’t dead and you’ll be able to see and hear for yourselves next outing…