Review in pictures:
Toxic Melons "Bus Therapy" Album Launch
Mining Institute, Newcastle
15th Oct 2014
Toxic Melons, which always consists of at least Paul Fairbairn, tonight was augmented by a full band to fully encompass the sound of these compositions. Written on many bus journeys, hence the name, Bus Therapy draws influences from the Beatles, ELO and 90s power pop legends like Jellyfish.
The Mining Institute lecture theatre was an interesting gig venue. Unfortunately those house lights were not great for photography, especially when turned right down to the level of 10 candles as they were for the first support act Fading Face. Luke Hobson was indeed a "Fading Face" in the darkness so no lovely photos of him. Luke is a purveyor of the psychedelic flavoured 60's style songs driven by personal experience it seems. Despite a possessed plectrum Luke put in a good shift and managed not to be too disturbed by the disembodied voice that at one point chattered through the PA. yes Luke, I heard it too!
Second on were the "inventors of a new pop-idiom" (Factory Fast Records, New York's words) Peculiar Disco Moves. Showing all of the polish they have developed after a summer of multiple festivals and a good number of gigs, they blasted though their repertoire with true aplomb. This was a chance for an airing of the upcoming single. More about that later, but think about the problems that ensue from the female parent of a partner. Mother-inlaw jokes may be ancient history, but these beings still exist and create situations to a greater or lesser degree.
Talking of greater or lesser, Toxic Melons opened their set with the rousing More or Less and ran through a selection of new and older songs. My favourite Not in Love was, like everything else tonight, played with enthusiasm and skill by the band brought together by Paul. Phil Jamieson on guitar, Alix Shepherd on keys and backing vocals, Jonathan Proud on bass, Dominic Hornsby on drums and Paul Emmett on lead vocals. Paul took the lead for the delightful Getting Old and despite his misgivings about his vocals did a cracking job. Paul, you should sing more. Bus Therapy is an interesting journey and doesn't keep to the usual musical path, which I like. I heartily recommend you get hold of this Kickstarter success and expand your musical horizons. Buy here from Bandcamp.Toxic Melons tonight did not play older favourite, The Dole, prompting some comedic heckling from fans at the back, But, here it is in all its animated glory, click the rather attractive collage to be taken to YouTube.
Toxic Melons need to get out here playing gigs every few months and developing their sound. Paul has created a great sound and a highly original array of tunes that need to get out there. Sync Panther has signed up Toxic Melons recognising the potential for these songs to be used on film and TV. We are looking forward to seeing more of Toxic Melons out in the venues of Newcastle and beyond.
Words and photos by Joanne Oliver for Jowheretogo