So Jim and I went to the Aliens gig last night and after a late start in the ever so small Crawdaddies, the band appeared looking like theyâ€™d raided the local Oxfam shop. Lead singer Gordon Anderson wore green luminous rimmed dark sunglasses under what looked like a Disco Stu hair piece, while keyboards expert John Maclean sported a Sergeant Peppers type jacket with gold trim and burnished epilates which he managed to chuck pretty quick. The first track, Setting Sun, blistered out frantically and was immediately followed by another track, the name of which escapes me. The shaking of Andersonâ€™s mop during the guitar frenzy proved that this musical wig out was not performed using false hair.
While trying to get his breath back after playing straight into the second song Anderson began to indulge in some whacky verbal antics. Having a rapport with the audience is often a cool way for punters and band to connect and to make an eveningâ€™s entertainment a bit more special. But itâ€™s a fine balance. Anderson efforts, whether out of nerves or habit, soon started to get a bit annoying, as the funny voices and impressions began to hold back the momentum of the gig. In fact, someone shouted â€˜momentum!â€™ out during one of his longer ramblings, which were often punctuated by the self imposed injunction â€˜get on with it!â€™
However, when the music began again, all annoyance was forgotten and towards the latter half that much vaunted momentum managed to be maintained. The Aliens music is not exactly original. Riffs from other bands and artists abound in all their songs. Setting Sun has the riff from Hendrixâ€™s All Along the Watchtower and after one track Anderson dedicated the song to Manfred Man. Each one, however, whether infused by soft 60â€™s folk or psychedelic space rock, still had enough of its own musical tomfoolery to bring it beyond simple pastiche.
Ultimately the music was fun, energetic and great to listen to. The last tracks Robot Man, Rok and Happy Song which is ridiculously catchy and exuberant and ended a relatively short set, showed what the rest of the gig should have been, if only Anderson had piped down a bit more and got on with it.