Saturday, 16 January 2010

UFK/Andy White/Glenn Barnes/Dave Pickett/Chris Austin

Friday 16 January 2010

UFK Review – By Reasvey

Poco Loco

Turned up fairly early at this interesting venue. The crowd built gradually through the evening and looked already to be into enjoying a great night out. After the bad weather, I think we could all do with cheering up a bit.

Andy White kicked off with a mixture of his own stuff and some alternative classics excellently played and well executed as usual, followed by Glenn Barnes interesting and excellent set, ranging between instrumental numbers to full songs energetically delivered for full impact. Next up was Dave Pickett of the Flowing who did a few numbers in his own indomitable style.

UFK tonight were Andy Fraser (Export) and Nic Hughes (Ex of Cenet Rox).

By this time the audience seemed up for a bit of mid Kent banter from the maestro, who clad in long leather trench coat would not have looked out of place on the door at Madame Cyn's place or as an extra in the Matrix. Nic clad in large thick coat lurked stage right like some malevolent spirit looking for a victim. The pair cut a nice contrast against the almost Scandinavian sauna style wooden backdrop of the wall behind and the cantina type surroundings of the venue.

Anyway, a pensive Fraser eyed the audience to announce the first number. Ronnie Woods and his Russian girlfriend were mentioned and the show started “Rolling”...

Made In Russia - As always with UFK, it’s great to see the reaction (Which is usually good) to the excellent and very humorous lyrics from people that might not have heard UFK before and today was no exception. I caught a couple of comments like "Did he the end” etc.
A lumbering beast of a song building slowly to the slightly increased tempo of the refrain, "Made In Russia", Which I must admit that even after hearing this song loads of times, still invokes in me the need to scream "Made In Russia" at the top of my voice along with the band. (Apologies for this Rio as you probably got this full in the ear!)

It must be said that Nic Hughes playing really compliments the UFK songs and increases their appeal along with some backing vocals and of course his 50% part of the 2 man team that at times appears to be the musical equivalent of a modern day Morecombe and Wise. Nic adds just the right amount of embellishment to the songs, without affecting Mr Frasers unique style of delivery, giving the stripped down line ups sound that added bit of colour.

Loserville came next with Andy explaining the slightly dubious origins of the dating agency run by his mother in law and stating that this is how he found his wife, much to the chagrin of his current wife in the audience of course...I love this song and the lyrics, another great “sing a long a Kitten” numbers. The slightly melancholy feel/mood of the song with the wistful refrain "Dot Com" twisted artfully into a humorous “Dot Cotton” sums up the essence of many UFK songs.

Underground worker, one of my favourite UFK songs, very catchy and well delivered which included the excellent lyric "He's an underground worker he knows Ben Jones" (a reference to the very talented local musician.) Well performed along with some great improvisation by Nic.

To Whom It May Concern - I was a gangster working for the Abbey National...hmmmm
Another great song with the infectious "I'm mad, I'm mad I think I'm on the turn, I'm mad, I'm mad, to whom it may concern". Some great audience interaction with this song finally finishing with the immortal line..."How many paranoid schizophrenics do you see in an English country sanatorium"

Life in My Town - Opens a veritable Pandora’s Box of options lyric wise, which never seems to be the same each time it’s performed. Dartford, Strood and many other Kent towns were mentioned prompting the audience to call out their own preferred location...You may have missed Gillingham Andy...or maybe that was intentional for artistic reasons?
In their enthusiasm, UFK forgot the last verse...but Andy F rescued it by explaining "I have memory-dyslexia so I need the cue cards". The exuberant audience intent on a great night out interacted with UFK throughout this one and there was even dancing!

Songs are Here to Stay - A clever UFK ruse to re use other songs and tunes swapping the lyrics completely as suits them. After all, why waste a good tune?
Quite an understated genius involved in this song, made up completely of song titles which linked in with each other to form ….another song!.... Excellent job!

People - Probably my favourite UFK song and what a song to end on. Andy flashing his very own hand crafted cue cards at the audience, (some of whom were dancing) emphasising the current topic of the lyric. The hilarious subject matter emphasising the humour in “everyday lives” and some interesting aspects of some of our more interesting fellow human beings...Its only people, indeed!

Again a song I am unable to prevent myself from fan like chanting "People, People" at full volume into some poor sods ear along with the song, so infectious is this number. A great way to end the evening.

Andy F finished the set with the information “If you get a message on your computer saying 'Naked Susan Boyle Pictures' please DO NOT OPEN THE it could contain pictures of Susan Boyle...naked!". As usual education and health and safety are always at the heart of UFK's manifesto.

A very entertaining evening indeed with a great crowd who had no problem enjoying themselves. A very strong line up for the whole evening really enjoyable.
Mr Fraser, devoid of his full dose of “medicine” due to having to drive, looked very sprightly and focused on proceedings, put on a great performance and matched by Hughesie's excellent accompaniment, made for a special night. Stage size prevented the usual walkabout by Andy F and Nic is also a prowler, eyeing the audience as he paces back and forward like some caged and slightly mad Siberian Tiger which had been holed up in a 6ft by 10 cage in a Kazakhstani Zoo for 25 years or so, adding to the underlying tension of the performance.
In my opinion, the current batch of songs are the strongest UFK set I have heard so far and the newer songs are every bit as good as anything they have produced in the past. It’s not just the excellent songs, but the cue cards and banter as well as the spirited performance that makes the whole UFK experience a pleasant one.

So remember next time you feel like punching that annoying fucker next to you in the queue...Its only People...bless em ;o)

Review by Gods little helper “Reavsey” peace be with you…