“Hi, we’re the Posies and… we’re nothing else”, long-haired band member Ken Stringfellow discreetly hoots to the crowd. Cue loud cheers from a groupie audience riddled with goatees and flat caps. The Posies are back. Currently touring Europe, the two-man Washington-based band are promoting their new power-pop album ‘Solid States’.
London was graced with their presence at the renowned 100 Club, an intimate venue hidden along the bustling Tottenham Court Road. It’s a place where the musicians on stage drink beer, not water, to keep themselves refreshed. It helps if you own a pair of Vans or Converse too.
Supporting act the President Lincoln filled the stage with engaging lyrics and guitar ballads. Tracks like ‘This Could Be Our Country’ and ‘Thoughts & Prayers’ got the crowd in a sway. Most pleasing to the ears for BBC 6 Music fans, considering Steve Lamacq has endorsed them.
Before you know it, after the brief interval, the Posies pop out from the side of stage, saddle on their guitars and kick straight into their new track ‘We R Power’.
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The alternative rock band tantalise the crowd with some new tracks including ‘Squirrel vs Snake’. The duo know exactly what they’re doing. They are here simply because they love to play around with guitars. Tracks like ‘Burn and Shine’ were being punctuated with guitar kicks and jumps, a sight you rarely see these days, particularly from 40+ year old gentlemen. Chains tied to their jeans jangle away as they wade through an extensive repertoire of songs from albums like ‘Amazing Disgrace’ and ‘Frosting the Beater’.
Accompanying singer Gizzelle Smith twirls on to stage from time to time, adding womanly vocals to tracks like ‘Licences to Hide’.
The youngest members of the audience were in their twenties, and by the sounds of the whooping and name-calling, came along because they were mates with the touring drummer. The majority of the crowd, however, seemed to know almost every lyric and when to fist pump at the right time.
Stringfellow confesses “this is the first show we’ve done hungover”. Which explains the occasional shuffling, misheard banter behind the microphones from time to time, and the one or two long pauses between songs. One pause was comically recovered by a brief, funky version of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ chorus. Alas, these guys have come far. It’s been an understandably tumultuous year for them, including the death of fellow bandmate Joe Skyward from cancer.
Of course, an encore is demanded from the crowd. A few minutes later Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow rock on through the crowd nursing a can of Stella Artois and hop on stage. For a five more songs, including ‘Everybody is a Fucking Liar’, a gift that keeps on giving.
At the end, a cockney voice in the crowd exasperates to his friend, “it was good, wasn’t it?”, whilst people team towards merch man Joe to nab some CDs. And, yes, people here buy CD’s!
‘Solid States’ is out on the 29th April 2016 via Lojinx.
This Posies article was written by Fina Charleson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.