Milky Wimpshake - The Buffalo Bar - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Milky Wimpshake - The Buffalo Bar

by Darren Loucaides Rating: Release Date:

This evening provides a very rare chance to catch legendary indiepop trio Milky Wimpshake from Newcastle. Of course, 'legendary' has a specific meaning in indiepop circles. It means that a tiny clutch of fans, many of whom can remember the genre's birth in the mid-'80s, have followed the band and loved them since their first shows some 17 years ago, and can explain with astonishing precision their impact on all guitar-wielding northeastern bands since. It does not mean that the vast majority of people have ever heard of them.

Milky Wimpshake are led by Pete Dale, who has written a battery of personal, frequently self-effacing, songs about love, politics and poverty. In a demonstration of charming candour, he reveals that the band's drummer was drafted in at very short notice for tonight's show, and I doubt they've rehearsed much - the set peppered is with mistakes. This may be part of their twee, anarchist get-up, but it doesn't seem deliberate to me. The pain of every misfiring chord or forgotten lyric is painted plainly on Pete's face.

It's far from polished, then. In fact, it's the kind of unpolished that can't be learned. Occasionally, if I close my eyes, I'd almost think I'm hearing the nervous inaugural performance of a young band still grappling with the songwriting craft. Paradoxically, pure and unquestionable pop gems shine through the mess - fan favourites like 'I Love You, You Weirdo' and 'I Wanna Be Seen In Public With You' are lost indie classics. Pete's propensity for cramming more words into a line than it can sensibly take demands a delivery full of identity, while his effects-less guitar tends to lead the simple basslines and punky drums on brief and unexpected tangents.

Though still laced with humour, newer songs deal with different themes - ageing, regret, yearning - which bode well for forthcoming LP, My Funny Social Crime, the band's first in five years. But when their faithful supporters insist on a surprise encore, they fall back on a piece of pithy angst from their distant past in the form of 'Milk Maid'. Listening, laughing and pogoing along to this 57-second-long outburst grants you a glimpse at just why Milky Wimpshake have inspired so much love, for so long.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet