Tom Colborn was the engaging opening act at The Corner House, with his slide (‘bottleneck’) guitar playing, probably unique on the Cambridge scene. It was the blues, characterised by the mesmerising crystal clear sound of the resonator guitar echoing underneath self-composed songs expressing social concerns that could have been from any era. He ended strongly with the blues standard ‘Dust My Broom’, as originally performed by Elmore James (and Robert Johnson before that…).
I like The Corner House, it is a friendly place and you can walk straight off the street and into a free concert. It is a bit like someone’s large lounge when the two smaller living rooms have been knocked through, there is a reassuring archway and homely wallpaper around the top of the room. It reminded me of the classic TV show ‘The Young Ones’ when the anarchic comedy was suddenly hijacked by a top band of the day appearing in the house (OK, I know it was just a stage set…).
Biscuits for Bears were on next, classic power pop line up, guitar, bass and drums. It was a high energy performance, but there was also plenty of variation, such as waltz time on ‘Saturn in Retrograde’ and understated bass on ‘Hand Model’. ‘Won’t See Me Around’ is a stand-out pop song, much appreciated by the steadily building audience. I enjoyed their set, I hope to see them again when they resume live performance in September.
Trouser Crisis had the same trio line-up, the opening song ‘Something Missing’ was a short burst of punk energy sustained through the set, temporarily slowed for ‘Ship in a Bottle’ then pushed through to the closing song ‘Taken’ via a speeded up cover of The Penguins classic ‘Earth Angel’, (as featured in the film ‘Back To The Future!). Well played and structured songs, delivered with a knowing awareness of their musical genre.
I was looking forward to seeing The Centimes again (see earlier review) and they did not disappoint, structuring the set differently from before, starting with the opening song featuring just simple percussion as the drummer stepped up to sing. Slow opening songs built up to the full band sound, the separate vocal strengths of each member of the band giving contrast and variety to the show. It was a confident performance, the sometimes sparse instrumentation leaving room to show the strength of the songs. A classy end to a good evening of music.