The Luminaire, London, 10/01/08
Indiepopheaven - an evening at the Luminaire in the company of the School/the Would-be-Goods/Club 8
Last thursday at the Luminaire in
The School are the youngest and newests addition to my list of favourite bands on this bill and they do not disappoint. Their easy-going charm and their sweet sixties girlgroup influenced songs full of melodic twists could win over any old cynic (or he would have to have a heart of stone), but just by looking around me I can tell that no such cynic is to be found at the Luminaire tonight : everybody seems to know and love the School already. That's hardly surprising when the songs are so great. They play all the favourites (like "valentine", "all I wanna do") and some songs I hadn't heard yet ("shoulder", "I want you back (?)") but which are sure to become favourites too - actually on one listen they already are. They finish their set with "kiss me in the snow" and it is Xmas all over again !
The Would-be-Goods follow and they are initially a little bit of a letdown, but due to no real fault of their own I must add. Jessica had lost her voice earlier in the week and was just getting it back and the sound was appalling which hardly helped. I mean what is a Would-be-Goods song when you can hardly hear those delicious vocals and those brilliant lyrics ?! But they fight hard against these setbacks and come out shining by the end of the set, which they finish with a blistering version of "Emmanuelle Béart" (actually Jessica is looking so great, she shouldn't be jealous of Emmanuelle at all). The fact that they included one of their oldest songs dating back to those glorious El records days, "the camera loves me", in their set makes me very very happy indeed.
And then it is time for Club 8. Some argue that their gorgeous bittersweet pop is better suited for daydreaming to on your own in your bedroom then for a live setting, but when they sound this effortlessly cool who is complaining. Not me. And who says you can't daydream among a crowd of likeminded souls ?
They look brilliant of course : Karolina resplendent in a black print dress - a classic Swedish beauty - and Johan doesn't look too bad either. They are expanded to a sixpiece for this live outing, but the band keeps very faithful to the original versions of the songs which is just great (why should they tamper with perfection ? It would be like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa).They start proceedings with "Jesus walk with me" and Karolina's voice is so crystal clear, it is spinetingling. You can almost hear a pin drop in the Luminaire, no mean feat.
The rest of the set consists of songs from the new album ("heaven", "the football kids", "whatever you want") and songs from their earlier albums ("everlasting love", a deeply moving "love in december", a joyful "boyfriends stay") and is way too short. They could go on for hours and I wouldn't care. I'm in heaven. For an encore they first play "a song which nobody will want to hear but we play it anyway" in Johan's words and by that he means "Saterday night engine". He couldn't be more wrong as the crowd sing along with the footballchant-like chorus and go wild. To close the evening they go back to the glacial beauty of a more accoustic version of the devine "missing you".
And then the dream is over ... But I've still got a great big grin on my face. Cause Club 8 make me realize I'm the boy who couldn't stop dreaming. And dreams do come true.