Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 20 February 2010
The Marr's Bar, Worcester 22.01.2010

Andy O'Hare
By Andy O'Hare
Independent music reviewer

I managed to slip out the back of the BBC's Hylton Road studios disguised as a pile of old papers while Andrew's back was turned last week and mosied on down to the local that is the Marr's Bar in Worcester for an act I've been promising myself to see for months now.

This was an Undercurrent Promotion, which is the regular Friday gig and club night at what has to be the most reliable venue for catching the best of local acts in the two counties.

No change tonight on the quality front as kicking off were Malvern four-piece Tallulah Fix.

Malvern band Tallulah Fix
Tallulah Fix have you nodding and tapping your feet right from the off

Although they've only been going three months or so, they seem to have hit the ground running as they've already supporting Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss.

Now I know I probably say this every week, but this lot have to be one of the finest new acts I've heard in years.

They hit you right between the eyes and ears with pounding opening number So Good and continue with a set of blues-ish psychobilly numbers and a Southern Death Cult undertone - nice!

I've dubbed Esteban as Worcester's super-group and so far no one's challenged me on that - so I reckon it must be true!

Worcester supergroup Esteban
They play an accessible Theo-like math-rock in easy to digest bite-sized chunks

What you have is a three-piece of the finest musicians doing the rounds in Sam Knight AKA Theo on guitar, James Willis (ex-Cape Of Good Hope) on bass and Joe Singh of Expedestrian on drums.

It helps also that Willis is the Marr's Bar resident sound engineer and (like with the Cape), he always manages to tweak the sound system up to maximum quality and volume 11.

Some might call that cheating, but just think of it as a bit of insider dealing!

I was gobsmacked by November And The Criminal when I caught a fleeting soundbite of the Worcester fourpiece back in August and somehow I've managed to miss every single appearance since.

November and the Criminal
They've got a scintillating stage presence and a set of kicking numbers

I'm firmly of the opinion that with some outfits you can judge the quality from the first few chords - and without doubt November And The Criminal have to be the most exciting act I've seen for years - and we've got a lot of good acts 'round here folks!

To my ears they're a blend of Dastards-ish melodies with the off-beat jangliness of Plot Against Paris and The Counterfeits - and I hope they'll hit the big-time this year.

I wish I could say the same for The Dissolutes, headlining this gig as it was their final appearance before heading their separate ways into new bands.

The trouble was it was the first time I've seen this set of Crampsy punksters and you know what - I really wouldn't mind seeing them again.

The Dissolutes
It was great to see the Dissolutes at this gig, but what about the previous ones guys?

Look, if we don't know about your gigs then they might as well just not happen so (and this goes for all you bands out there) - just let us know what you're up to - ok?

You can listen to the sounds of Herefordshire & Worcestershire every Friday from 1800 on 94.7, 104, 104.4 & 104.6FM and on 738 & 1584AM. You can also listen online by clicking listen live/again.



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