Club Fandango - Fistful of Fandango
Lucky Soul / Pete Molinari / Cassie & The Cassettes
229 Great Portland Street, London, Sept 4
The brainchild of Fierce Panda and Pointy Records head honchos Simon Williams and Andy MacLeod, Club Fandango has gone from a lowly occasional Tuesday night at Camden's Dublin Castle to firmly establishing itself as one of London's coolest and most eclectic indie nights. Now in its second year the Fistful of Fandango urban mini-festival utilises the 229 club's two rooms to maximum effect with bands running concurrently, meaning the music never stops!
Self confessed 'pale Smiths obsessives' Cassie & The Cassettes couldn't really be more nice if they tried. Hummable tunes about growing up in leafy Twickenham backed by jingle-jangle guitars and the odd ska backbeat, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were from Cardiff. The problem with a band as twee as Cassie et al is that unless you happen to be in the front three rows, much of the band's sound is lost, the murmur around the bar at times louder than the band itself.
Pete Molinari once visited New York with the intention of returning home to Chatham after a month. He stayed for two years, building up a cult following playing to Greenwich Village's array of juke joints and watering holes. Obsessed with Johnny Cash, Bille Holiday and Kurt Cobain's favourite bluesman Leadbelly, there are shades of Jimmy Scott and an unmistakable whiff of Dylan in Molinari's beguiling set of blues and country-infused folk.
Lucky Soul, headlining the smaller room hail from a different Greenwich to the one Pete Molinari may be familiar with. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that they are arguably the best organic pop group out there at the moment. Lacking the campness and tongue-in-cheek nature of the Pipettes and the bubblegum factor of Alphabeat, Lucky Soul do nothing better than writing a three minute lovelorn, full-blown pop song, a testament to guitarist Andrew Laidlaw's ear for a hook and siren singer Ali Howard's bittersweet delivery. Playing a 'short and sweet' set of mainly new material taken from the band's forthcoming second album, the six-piece barely stop for breath, the new stuff taking on a more Stax-inspired direction. Ending with the inimitable 'Lips Are Unhappy' and the footstomping "Get Outta Town', the 'Soul scamper offstage with a speed to match the pace of their set. If you want to see a set chock full of classic pop then check out Lucky Soul.