Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Little Ones @ Coal Exchange, Cardiff

17 May 2007

It was a last minute rush down to Cardiff’s Coal Exchange tinged with the fear of being assaulted by generic indie-rock, but a beatific and extraordinary performance won this night of the NME sponsored tour.

Blood Red Shoes have a great song in You Bring Me Down, and tonight it shimmers high above their sponsored noisenik rock, the rest of their songs paling in comparison.

Drummer/co-vocalist Steven seems to be a wilful indie incarnation of Chris Moyles with his between song banter, and as his partner Laura turns into an Allison Wolfe-esque riot grrrl hero in the very last minute of the very last song, I’m left to think she needs to saddle him up and shoot the gun.

The Little Ones take the stage to a smattering of grins. I only know the two glorious tracks on their Oh MJ single, but the other songs tonight jump with the same intrepid inspiration, drummer Gregory hunched behind guitarist Ian as he gives extra percussion on a fragile contraption in front of him (think a hymn-book stand being made to sound like aeroplanes crashing), keyboardist/bassist Lee, singer Edward and bassist/keyboardist Brian.

Their wondrous rhythms, star-striking melodies and wistful lyrical shapes put the whole NME ethos to shame, and as Oh MJ flies to the stars on the back of glowing doves’ wings it’s only the shivers down my spine that stop me falling over.

How The Little Ones ended up on this tour is a mystery to ponder in future days (rather you than me), but as the dancing cluster of the uncoolest kids in Cardiff eagerly rush side-stage to meet their heroes, it’s time to go.

Hopping over the tour posters and shying from the copious ads, I’m inebriated with the sheer magic of good pop music. Surely it wasn’t meant to be like this?

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The Little Ones @ Coal Exchange, Cardiff