1 hour and 45 minutes to travel from South East London to South West London, and all in the name of live music. It took Sir Edmund Percival Hillary a fraction of the time to reach the summit of Everest, have a cup of tea and then descend … and he had no casualties. I had two ‘en route’.
First of all we were ejected from the tube as a man decided to abuse anyone wearing a suit (with or without tie), women is business attire and generally anyone who asked him to keep it down. “Is he drunk” a woman asked me? The fact he was holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and holding his trousers up with the other required no answer. In his haste to escape London Undergrounds staff he tripped going up an escalator where he left part of his chin behind.
Then, and in keeping with all great episodes of Midsomer Murders, there was inevitably a second casualty. My decision to take a bus for the rest of the journey at first seemed a sound one. It was only when a young woman decided to projectile vomit against one of the windows did it cease to be. Needless to say I walked the remainder of the way, arriving at the “The Half Moon” expecting further disaster. How wrong I was.
Drum roll please for Arthur Rigby & the Baskervylles.
The pain of the journey immediately became a distant memory as this plucky Leeds 8-piece (even though I swear I only counted 7) became my comfort blanket. The performance was slick and to see a band playing such an accomplished set, while having fun, was a delight. Each track rolled into the next without any unnecessary chit-chat or banter (please take note We Are Scientists). While the entire performance was a joy, three tracks stuck out for me. “Follow”, “One Stormy Night” and the quite brilliant “Dark Clouds” were delivered with confidence and vigour, with the latter in particular being one of my live highlights of 2013.
There can only be success ahead for this band. With Ben Hatfield’s incredible pounding vocals, the overall quality of the song writing and the obviously passion in their live sets I simply cannot believe that they won’t go onto bigger and better things. Their EP (Tales from Pegasus Wood) is a Rembrandt compared to the quantity of “paint by numbers” tracks that seem to be available at the moment.
One final note. I haven’t been to the Half Moon since it’s “update” a couple of years ago. The bar looks great but it was a relief to see that the back music venue is still the same. Big thumbs up to all involved there.
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