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Create a new monthly ritual with Cloud Sounds

Colette Bernasconi enjoys a new monthly gig night in Fuel, Withington

Published on April 3rd 2009.

Create a new monthly ritual with Cloud Sounds

The first Saturday of every month, three bands will attempt to get a vegetarian café-bar full of hipsters moving and grooving. Which is just as hard as it sounds, unless you’re the Generalissimos, apparently.

Hand-picked by Ted Harris, the man behind weekly music podcast Cloud Sounds, local bands Onions, Tramp Attack and Generalissimos played at the first Cloud Sounds night at Fuel last month and have a follo-up show tomorrow: Saturday 4 April.

The second floor of the Withington bar was full but not packed, with most people sitting comfortably on couches waiting for the free show to begin as the first act, Onions, took the stage.

The trio abruptly kicked off with a deliciously catchy tune, the first of many fun, upbeat songs that had the crisp retro pop of The Violent Femmes, The Fratellis’ bounce and ELO’s sunshine. Dandy showman Jim sings about growing beards and ice creams as he alternates between guitar and cowbell. The songs were tight but forceful, thanks in large part to excellent drummer Chris, who beats on his toys with a beaming smile on his face. The songs were all extremely danceable too, but apart from generalized bopping and tapping, most of the listeners stayed on their couches.

Neither did they get up for Tramp Attack, a Scouse band, who ska-bopped their way through stylized blues/country-rock sing-alongs. Called “the musical daddies of every band to come out of Liverpool for the past 10 years…except for The Wombats” they fully inhabit the styles they straddle – sometimes to the point of singing in Tom Waits’ voice. This is a highly enjoyable live act, full of style and absurd humour that doesn’t overshadow the music.

Then, unpredictably, everyone jumped to their feet and rushed up to the stage as The Generalissimos took the stage. It’s safe to say their reputation preceded them. No longer the passive couch jockeys of a few minutes ago, the fickle tarts were cutting footloose as soon as the first beat went. And the band was good, very good, although personally I found, Onions were just as foot compelling. So why do the Generalissimos such a good following? Easy, they're a great live band. They’re full of beans. With infectious enthusiasm and oodles of individual charisma, they seamlessly mesh a party bag of musical genres to create a whole that is indisputably greater than the sum of its parts. Cloud Sounds Ted described it as "a loud fast musical journey through every musical genre. Except white boy reggae." Popified post-punk with a long memory, they borrow from American roots music, 80’s garage rock, sometimes sliding in to filthy funk. They're like Supergrass plus Half Man Half Biscuit but with something original going on. There’s a bit of silliness too, a bit of schizophrenia but it works its magic on the stage.

Cloud Sounds was selling a mixed CD there for a fiver that I was lucky enough to get my hands on. For Ted’s play lists, go to click here and download the free hour-long podcasts playing the unsigned and indie bands he likes.

Tomorrow's show will have Denis Jones, Eitha Tal Ffanco and Alun Tan Lan, April 4 at Fuel. I'm making it a monthly tradition.

Cloud Sounds

448 Wilmslow Road

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Jonathan Schofield - editorApril 3rd 2009.

I've removed the previous comment attributed to Editorial because it seems someone was being mischievous and trying to do our job for us. Colette Bernasconi has our full support, she' fab. So thanks Cloud Songs for your contribution.

Cloud SoundsApril 3rd 2009.

It's not an interesting point that Must Try Harder makes. It's a factually incorrect and slightly offensive point, mainly because it calls in to the question the integrity of the journalist in question.I run the Cloud Sounds gig night, podcast and record label (the Ted Harris mentioned above) and I can assure you that I had never met Ms. Bernasconi before she came to my night. If she was a friend of mine, she would probably have known that it wasn't the first gig, it was the first birthday.I think she may be friends with Onions' drummer's girlfriend though, so feel free to discount the quote about him! Although, to be fair he is an excellent drummer.I would hesitently suggest that Ms. Bernasconi had such a good time at my night because we put a great deal of effort in to putting bands on that complement one another and try our hardest to create a friendly, inclusive environment.It is a free night. It is not a pay to play night. We do not insist bands bring a certain amount of people. And we make NO money from the night whatsoever. So, in future, why don't you keep your ill informed and judgemental opinions to yourself, because it's comments like that that don't do anyone any favours.Just saying...

Must try harderApril 3rd 2009.

'Friend of band/club/promoter claims band/club/promoter is great.'These sort of reviews don't do anyone any favours.

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