The Loft, Cambridge 19/5/06

The Late Risers make me laugh and laugh and laugh. All I can see and hear of them is an old fellow who sings like Vic Reeves on Shooting Stars doing a karaeoke version of Johnny Cash. Oh, with a banjo, I think. I very nearly have to leave prematurely. Basically, I don't have a clue what they're on about. I don't even know if they are being serious. And I don't think I'll go and see them again to see if I can get a better idea. Sorry.

Whereas this is the second time I have seen Miss Villalobos, the first as a support act across the road at The Portland. Whilst she obviously impressed, it becomes apparent that she performs a lot better at her own shows. I find her a lot more entertaining this evening and I am thankful after all that I survived the first band. Because the folk rock with a country tinge on offer, delivered through merely two guitars and two gravely voices trained by ole Jack Daniels, is totally captivating. A blend of soul-searching lullabies, heaps of LA attitude and a cool hairdo make this little lady so much more rock and roll than her contemporaries and, if you like good, honest song-writing, then she's well worth a gander.

Both old material and new, taken from latest album "Miles Away", each track a winner though not always greatly dissimilar from the last, is perfectly complimented by a likeable stage banter about the highlights of Scunthorpe, a tattoo competition and an outstanding cover of Yvonne Elliman's disco anthem "If I can't have you", amongst other things. Which made for a very special set indeed. Of course there were twats shouting over it. And, to add to my slight grumpiness, on my way out, I picked up an earplug off the bar and had a good chew. I thought it was a sweet. I hope it wasn't used. There was a bowl of the bloody things. Be warned.

Thanks again to Germaint at Laughing Outlaw for sorting out the evening for me.

Anna C

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