CENTURY CITY + PIECES + GOGO LOCO
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
March 24th 2018

Since the turn of the year The Garibaldi Hotel, yer proverbial diamond in the rough in the back streets of The Mounts, has been under new management, and what a difference it’s making already. Tonight the turn out is exactly what it should be for decent local live draws – in short, busy.

The openers are playing their debut show tonight. Not that you could obviously tell, as GoGo Loco merge seamlessly on from their former The Mobbs guise. Joe and Cheadle might be a man down, but the songs are still primitive and strong. The primary influence now is clearly Bo Diddley, as demonstrated by them covering ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At It’s Cover’ in a short but deadly set. From now on bring your dancing shoes to the shows, you’ll need them.

Pieces are a new trio formed from the ashes of An Army Of Lights. This, just their third show, is hard and entertaining. The indie disco rhythms are very much the legacy of the noughties, but their tough edge and excellent interplay gives the whole enterprise a strong coherent whole. No idea what the songs are called as they haven’t put anything online yet, but Pieces are definitely a band you would want to check out if you see them listed as playing near you.

The headliners Century City have been wowing ShoeTown since they formed in 2014. A vehicle for former New Cassettes denizens Nik Gray and Tommy Francis, they are joined by Oli Knight (Loose Tooth) on guitar and Dan Battison (Ginger Snaps, and another former New Cassette) on bass. Their guilty pleasures-influenced guitar pop is the very definition of infectious, as it combines Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac vocals with Death Cab For Cutie/Biffy Clyro drive’n’crunch.

They are the go-to party band in these lands as they give proper show and can handily write pop triumphs like ‘Cherry Red’ and ‘The Others’. As things begin to climax at this well-received outing Gray gets on the bar to fully express himself and get a closer look at those at the back. Result: smiles all round. Gods among men, Century City have the winning formula of not taking it seriously whist actually being seriously good. Long may that continue.

Words: Phil Istine. Photos: David Jackson/Phil Istine