Ben Duckworth

16:56 10th March 2006

Playing in the attic of the art gallery/restaurant/hangout of the bourgeoisie that is The Spitz are possibly Wirral’s finest band named after heartless animal slaughter, The Seal Cub Clubbing Club. It’s the Seals first headline show in London and, as long as people get their heads around the name, we think they’ll do alright. Support act Revere are a seven piece who play like Jeff Buckley after he lived in the Moulin Rouge, got a taste for the theatrical and found some more friends to play with. Cue lots of warbling melodies, over dramatic strings and guitars. You get the feeling the small venue doesn’t do justice to them because their sound becomes a bit overawing. They are like group of intense, hyperactive, travelling balladeers finding themselves in front of an unappreciative audience on their search for people who really dig them. It’s not that the music is poor, au contraire; blending Buckley with God Speed You Black Emperor is inspired. It just didn’t happen tonight.

The Seal Cub Clubbing Club all look about 15. Does everyone receive their first guitar on their 10th birthdays nowadays? That doesn’t mean they’re anything like the Arctic Monkeys. The best way to describe them is The Coral on acid. Or if no illicit substances are involved, then they just believe in a big sound and the Scouse evidence is clear throughout the set. If their little melodic sequences sound like The Coral then SCCC brilliantly expand into Echo and the Bunnymen’s as the tracks develop. A nice sense of humour is also shown as the Sweet Home Alabama riff starts playing when guitarist Nik has to sort out some pesky technical difficulties. The music is powerful, emotive and Gigwise is in danger of gushing as badly as some well-known music rags. To regain some composure, SCCC are not an amazing band by a long stretch yet, but they’ve got imagination and they’ve got the hang of using older influences to make a sound of their very own. One small problem though – if they get big how will they be known? The Seals? Cubs? Clubbers? Surely it’s only a while before Paul McCartney is on their case too…