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Sheding Festival – The Indelicates

March 26, 2012

Having had a browse of everything I could find on The Indelicates online, I would have had a fiver on at least one of them coming from a drama school background. There’s nothing wrong with that. Indeed, I procured my own degree from the Rosie Bumfluff School of Playacting. They described themselves as “Punk Folk Cabaret, Concepts and Musicals,” and I took a punt. I was wrong and now my fiver lies in waste. Much like the Branch Davidian’s Mount Carmel Compound.

Never mind, I’m not disappointed. Friday night’s headline set at The Watershed is packed full of gems, stylistically a million miles from the previous band, The Fades, yet with a similarity of attitude. Here’s the second act of the night who have shattered my theory that there are few, if any, acts prepared to put their heads above the parapet and say what’s really on their minds. (The Beaten Generation.) I’m racking my brain here to remember a gig where I found myself listening to a song about David Koresh, thinking about dragging Mrs Aardvark onto the dance floor for a bit of a tango; thinking wouldn’t Flavia and Vincent from Strictly do a stunning Argentine Tango to this? Which might sound absurdly surreal, but when you hear Something’s Going Down In Waco you’ll probably get exactly what I mean. The fact that The Indelicates are prepared to tackle the subject of the Branch Davidian seige, massacre, tragedy, whatever you want to call it, in song form is one thing. A fine thing at that. But to write an entire album, a concept album on the subject? And call it, ‘David Koresh Superstar”? Genius I tells yer, ’tis an act of sheer genius!

Julia & Simon
South Coast Indelicacies

No one’s going to pull them up on the Trades Description Act for “Punk Folk Cabaret, Concepts and Musicals” either. I think any writer would struggle to create a more accurate and succinct tag line. However, there are delicate subtleties and intricacies, as well as indelicate sarcasm and acerbic wit amidst a set which is refreshingly quirky, eclectic and unselfconscious.

My only gripe with the set was the lack of a bass player and, during the penultimate number I turned to The Fades singer, Dave Lightfoot and said, “What this track needs is one of your brother’s thumping basslines.”

“Do you know, that’s exactly what I was just thinking,” he smiled in agreement.

Anyway, all that is irrelevant now because The Indelicates were still stunning and, if you listen to any of their tracks, (please do I whole-heartedly recommend) you will get a full-on musical experience that is as rare as a blue steak.

Speaking to Julia [vox & keyboards] and Simon [vox & guitars] after the show, they are just as quirky and unselfconscious as they are on stage, indicating their honesty and conviction. They make no apologies for the fact that they both have Masters degrees. Or that Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ is Simon’s biggest influence. Or that they’re really into poetry. Or that they are anybody but themselves, and I really admire that. Our conversation meanders through Berlin cabaret, German expressionist cinema, film noir, writing workshops in schools… it goes on, thoroughly engagingly. Then Julia asks me if I think that Brecht’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ would work as a musical, but with a Jeremy Kyle-esque cast. I think, she’s as mad as a bag of weasels, but yes, she’s absolutely right and, to me the only mad bit is that no one has thought of it before. Does that make me as mad as a bag of weasels? I do hope so.

Far from being insane, The Indelicates are extremely astute. They know where they’re going – even if there are detours and forks in the road ahead- and they are in control of their own destiny. Any aspiring musician would do well to look them up online and check out their label, Corporate Records. You never know, they might be looking for a new bass player soon. And on that note, I’m going to get my CV out of mothballs and send it to them…

…Oh hold up. Breaking news. Yes, they do already have a bassist. Stand easy.


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