With the exception of the monotonous and frankly desperate 2-note bombastic instrumental intro to their show, the Miss Pink Shoes set at Staines Hobgoblin on Sunday 31 Jan briskly scudded along some well-worn musical paths, bubbling and squeaking in all the right places – pausing rarely for breath – rising to levels of lofty achievement at times but also sometimes dipping to lewd and inappropriately low places at others.
Frontman keyboards supremo and lead vocalist Lloyd (who shares an uncomfortable resemblance to the Police Academy character ‘Zed’ played by Bobcat Goldthwait ) likes to swear. A lot. He also embraces the spotlight and gives a knowing wink to the audience to let them know he is in his rightful place upon the altar of rock. He ‘plays up’ to the crowd, and he appears totally relaxed and ‘at home’ on his stage. And although the Miss Pink Shoes official song-book has a fair few ups-and-downs, there was almost at once a palpable sense of sonic relief at the Hob Staines as the band set about the task of soothing our poor sore eardrums … (the Sunday night crowd had just endured a set from the hard-core screamo band ‘Mother Hydra’ and their singer Chainy’s acrobatic antics.) As the Pink Shoes brigade paraded their well rehearsed set of melodic, poppy songs – always embodying some comic notions, and often concealing some tiny anguish or a hidden truth, a true ironic juxtaposition of sound and texture was revealed.
The highlights in the Miss Pink Shoes show were jaunty and wise, on the other hand the lows were often run-of-the-mill in their semi improvised slightly jaded state. But there were plenty of up and atom, bumping and grinding, moments of lucidity for the fans to enjoy – although I felt that the band often bridled back their real power, preferring instead to reel jauntily and loftily (at times) towards jeering and jostling levels of achievement without expressing their full musical intentions or ambitions.
Sounds snaked from traditional rock n roll doo-wop numbers like ‘Wobbling Violently’ towards Blurish indie creations like the track NIFLIB. All along the way the band delivered ‘grown-up’ somewhat less hip songs like the track ‘Love for the Hate Nation’ with industrious bass and guitar working together to provide shiny polished soundscapes fresh with feeling and energy. Percussion was delivered in sensitive quantities of rhythmic control. All the time, the synthy electronica keyboard work was well expressed by the charismatic singer Lloyd who played centre-stage.