THE SPANGLES / THE MATTY JAMES CASSIDY BAND / FILTHY FILTHY - The Fulford Arms, York 15.06.19
PHOTO CREDITS: PAUL MCGOWAN
The Fulford Arms has gradually developed a reputation as a popular, quality live venue over the last few years and it doesn’t take long to realise why once you’re there. It’s a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be but has a decent stage, the staff were great, there’s a friendly atmosphere and the sound was fantastic; stomach-wobblingly loud but no distortion or feedback. Each instrument and vocal was both audible and discernible. By, but it were mafting though.
First up were FILTHY FILTHY from Hull. This quartet offered up some catchy, old school Punk with a little Rock and Roll and some modern crunch thrown in for good measure. In a way, they kind of felt like a covers band but it was just that songs like ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’, ‘Throwaway Lover’, ‘Dancing’ and, new song,’(My Baby’s Got The) Shakes’ were so instantly memorable that they felt like songs you already knew.
Being the opening band meant a shorter set so onstage chat was understandably sparse, in fact the first three songs went flying by without even time to clap appreciatively in between. Despite that, the band were engaging, affable and great to watch. I really enjoyed their set and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of their shows.
Filthy Filthy are:
Graham – Vocals / Guitar
Tim – Guitar / Vocals
Alex – Bass / Vocals
Mike – Drums
Following them were the main support on the tour, THE MATTY JAMES CASSIDY BAND. His recorded, solo output is semi acoustic, Gothic Country/Folk and pretty damn decent. Live, with a full band however, it’s much heavier and full on. There was still that dark troubadour feel to it but with big Rock n’ Roll/Punky riffs and a raucous energy.
Matty is a tall and imposing frontman, looking kind of/sort of/not really like Pete Steele if Pete Steele had been in the Stray Cats instead of Type O Negative. His deep voice fits well to both styles of his music too.
His backing band are phenomenal, Ace is a beast on the drums, Phil’s guitar sounded thick and powerful, he belted out a ton of tasty riffs that hit hard. The real star for me (and Paul, the photographer) though, was Bret on the saxophone. While much shorter than Matty, he’s still just as much of a visual focus onstage. Not being tied to a microphone meant he was free to make the most of his room and he wasn’t afraid to throw a few shapes every now and then. Musically, he really adds a cool dimension to the sound, particularly on the brilliant ‘Contradiction In Terms’. At times he parped along with the melody, other times, he tossed out some ripping solos and occasionally slipped in some Jazz-tinged improv. Nice.
There was some, initially half-arsed, audience participation required during ‘Sticks And Stones’ though it was executed much better during ‘Brand New You (Same Old Me)’, with it’s easy-to-manage, call and response chorus.
They were joined onstage for the closing couple of songs by their van driver Corky, who didn’t look overly pleased to be dragged up to add some backing vocals and also by Gary Pennick, Matty’s guitarist bandmate in Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour. It all came crashing to an end with a fantastic cover of ‘It’s All Over Now’ by The Rolling Stones.
So yeah, THE MATTY JAMES CASSIDY BAND were brilliant and I heartily recommend you check them out for yourself.
The Matty James Cassidy Band are:
Matty James Cassidy – Vocals / Bass
Phil Cassidy – Guitar / Vocals
Bret Barnes – Saxophone
Ace Carlton – Drums
The final band of the night then, were THE SPANGLES. Formed by three mates: Ben and Ginna are also in The Main Grains (Danny McCormack’s last band before he rejoined The Wildhearts) and Polly is the frontman for The Idol Dead, though with The Spangles, he’s on bass. While Ben is the main vocalist, all three take lead duties at various times.
Following a few technical issues they burst into the frenetic ‘Growing Up’ and set the tone for what’s to come. The majority of their songs are under 3 minutes long and insanely catchy, fun tracks. Songs like ‘One Good Reason’, ‘Alone’, ‘Back On The Meds Again’ and ‘Hold My Hand’ (complete with it’s ‘Buddy Holly’ nicking “OooWeeOoo’s”) are bright, energetic Pop Punk classics with massive choruses. They all flew by in a blur and all of those massive choruses were forced out by the next song and it’s, even more massiver, chorus. Yes, massiver.
As good as the songs are, and they are good, the real attraction, live, is the band’s easy camaraderie onstage. They were constantly making each other laugh, winding up each other and friends in the audience and genuinely seemed like they were having an absolute blast and so, by extension of that, did everyone else. Given that they frequently said about how ill all three were feeling, it didn’t show at all.
At one point, Polly was helpfully pointing out the merch stand, mentioning that there were CDs of their debut album ‘#Sweet F.A.’ available and that they would have to play all of the songs on it as it’s only half an hour long.
This isn’t strictly true as they couldn’t play ‘Dirty Pictures’ as Ginna sings lead vocals on it and his voice had almost completely gone. While that was a shame because ‘Dirty Pictures’ is one of the standout tracks on ‘#Sweet F.A.’ for me, it was made up for the fact that they were joined onstage by Lee from The Kingcrows who sang lead on a storming version of ‘Have Love, Will Travel’.
It was the first of four covers spread throughout their set, the others being ‘Lady’ by Adam And The Ants (They recorded this as a B-side to their ‘Alone’ single), ‘F.O.D’ by Green Day (I’d like to see a recording of this, it was fantastic) and a song by Polly and Ginna’s old band, Phluid. I didn’t catch the name of that one but it sounded pretty good at the same.
They closed the night with the blistering ‘Ramone’, a breakneck a tribute to, well, you have a guess. They left everyone sweaty, knackered but with a big cheesy grin on their stupid faces.
At no point during the night did the band feel like a side project or anything less than a proper, full time band. They’re different enough to The Main Grains and The Idol Dead to remain relevant and good enough to warrant a lengthy career. Hopefully the inclusion of a new song ‘Under The Weather’ means that a second album is on the way at some point.
As I said before, the band were feeling ill but still managed to be ace. When they’re firing on all cylinders, they must be untouchable.
The Spangles are:
Ben Marsden – Guitar / Vocals
Polly Phluid – Bass / Vocals
Ginna Rhodes – Drums / Vocals (though not tonight!)
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