The new Nancy and Lee duo of The Moldy Peaches’ Adam Green and Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro has been on tour for four weeks. Everyone in the crowd is thinking the same: has he worn those same leather trousers for every show?
Green is anti-folk, yet bearded, and playing his new blend of sweet '60s-inspired pop songs on an acoustic guitar. To counteract this, he does what every non-folkie should do and crowd surfs over his adoring fans packed into a sold out Village Underground. See, folk can be fun!
But antics aside and once troubles with sound and lights are sorted, Green and Shapiro charm their crowd with summery vibes and catchy melodies, from the feel good with a bitter twist ‘Just To Make Me Feel Good’ to the head bobbing loveliness, also with a bitter twist, of ‘Pity Love’.
It takes a while for Green to come out of a moody start, but once there, his chat and tales are just as smile-inducing as his songs.
"I was originally a tuba player," he tells the crowd after recounting a story of a flaming tuba outside the Tate and the other weird and wonderful things he’s seen in London. It’s difficult to work out if he loves or hates our city. He also can’t work out if we’re punters or grandchildren of his music. Either way, he has a lot of admirers here.
It’s clear that Green is the main star on stage tonight, with many of his own songs peppered into the set, like the brilliant ‘You Blacken My Stay’, ‘Cigarette Burns Forever’ and ‘Friends of Mine’.
But while Green’s solo works get huge cheers, it’s the vintage throw-back of his collaboration with Shapiro - slightly redundant for Green’s solo songs - that are the highlights. ‘Casanova’, despite Shapiro’s voice being slightly drowned out, is one of the highlights while ‘Nighttime Stopped Bleeding’ is much louder and darker than on the record. ‘I Never Found Out’ picks up the pace a little and forgets the vintage softly softly approach. This is a band that looks like it wants to rock out, but the short songs and the '60s twee keep it a little restrained. You feel like the three minute pop song could morph into something massive. All credit to the amazing drummer who brings an edge to the sound.
Single ‘Here I Am’ is as sugar-coated as it is on record and gets a huge response before Green swaps his guitar for a Jarvis Cocker/orangutan style of movement to accompany ‘Dance With Me’. It’s a great mix of a new partnership and a new sound combined with some of Green’s classics from the last decade.
Words by Gemma Hampson
Photos by Mark Ashby