Love Ancients at the Market Bar, Saturday 9th of December, 2017

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L“Gimme some Lovin’”: Love Ancients, the Return – Love Ancients at the Market Bar, Saturday 9th of December, 2017, by Cornwallace


[Note* – Irrelevant, overly-long intro below!!  To cut through the shit, skip to next heading…]

I have held off from doing this review for a couple of days now.  The existential angst that has kept me from the keyboard has not stemmed from the gig itself, the band or the atmosphere, but the fact that they received a review here on The Nettle recently.  One thought being that there’s a lot of live bands and gigs to see and to potentially review.  And the band in question is all about love – the hint on this is in the name – so would they mind?  Surely The Nettle should be spreading it’s love a little further to others as well though?  Isn’t it indeed the right thing to do?

The practical challenge to this reasonable moral conundrum being, however, that I didn’t actually see another band – I saw this one.  And so the thoughts of love and balance and harmony continued ironically (hopefully not ironic in an Alanis Morissette type way, but, in seeking to break the mould, actually ironic) to be the source of a wee touch of frustration and angst.  

Fortunately this fine evening, the philosophical spiral of inactivity was short-circuited by a series of 3 short-sharp burst thoughts, one after the other, backing up each other in a perfect triumvirate – and we all know that the triangle is the most solid foundational model.  Or at least that’s what they say in such circles.
The first stage was, hey, this doesn’t have to go anywhere, it’s in your head, give it a try.  
The 2nd element was advice from both Hollywood and a Galaxy Far, Far Away.  As Yoda says, “do or do not, there is no try”: i). and Hollywood says his is ancient wisdom, ii). and who doesn’t love listening to Yoda’s advice, iii). and Yoda is ancient iv). and this was the band Love Ancients, v). so this makes sense to the part of me reared on Yoda for wisdom, vi). and who am I to not read those signs!  
The 3rd reason was of course that by which much in this world is from, i.e. “fuck it.”  I saw them.  I liked them.  I think others will like them.  So fuck it, here I am, with me not necessarily their biggest fan, or them my favourite band, but with me wanting to encourage people to see them, as I did like them, and think that there’s a good time to be had in seeing them.

So after the most unnecessarily long-winded intro ever…


Love Comes to Town!  The Love Ancients get their Groove on at the Market Bar


Actually, despite all appearances, and the name, and a really good groove on the base quite a lot throughout the night, it isn’t really the names of the songs or the ways in which they were played that most remains of seeing the Love Ancients.  They did get their groove on, but they showed off a range of music besides that.  


All my photos for the night had this nimbus glow over the head of the lead singer.  Was it divine intervention, was it channelling energy, or something as banal as the spot light and my bad photography?  


The thing that most remains in the mind after a couple of nights is how the crowd swelled over the course of the night.  I don’t know if it was luck – the timing of the Saturday night in a sweet spot of a time leading up to Christmas may have played a part.  Also people telling their friends in town to get over there.  More so though, I’d say there was a lot of people who stopped by for a beer before heading on to other things in the night, and stayed on to see the band.  The place was like sardines by the end of it.  People’s drinks getting knocked by elbows.  People carving a small piece to call their own anyway they could.  Taps on shoulders and smiles a good option, people trying to get spaces by backing into them like reversing into a rugby scrum, to varying degrees of success and etiquette.  Yet still, for this one crowd-based small annoyance, there were people jumping up and down, people dancing, people smiling.  It was a good gig, and a fun night, plain and simple.  


Despite the angle, this tall happy dancing lady with the matching hair and bag isn’t half way through dead-lifting an amp, more feeling the vibe of the Love Ancients.


In all honesty there were times I was chatting to friends, for the fact that they are friends and the sheer timing of seeing each other before Christmas.  This happened throughout the crowd.  Which is to say that not all the focus was always on the band.  
Read into that what you will, but for me the Love Ancients helped set the scene for a great night in a pub.  The songs were really enjoyable – they were my cup of tea for genres covered and songs sung, with a good dose of interesting and different and, importantly, good versions of songs a good deal of the crowd knew, which is a shrewd thing for a band who plays covers, and something that helped work the vibe into the crowd.  

In wondering whether I should write another review to the Love Ancients so close behind and set in the same venue as another Nettle review, I looked at the one by Fremsley to see if I could anything different, or more.  One thing I can say is the Love Ancients either read the review or they came to the same understanding about the levels of volume, which was something that seemed to be a big improvement on what was experienced in the last review.  
When going into the gig I saw the big fuck-off Marshall speaker pushing the lead guitarist off the stage and into the crowd, where he ended up performing happily, apart from some inevitable elbow bumping in an area that packed with revellers right near the end.  
I was worried to start that they were preparing to blow themselves off the stage with the sound and he was just being pre-emptive.  However, instead I was thinking for a while that he was a volume notch below where he maybe should have been.  That was until the solo of a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ saw his guitar start to rise above the rest of the music fine, just as was.  This was the point where my friend, after being drawn out of a conversation with another friend by the guitar solo, grab me by the arm to point at the lead guitarist, and smile.  Again, this is the sort of thing that holds on after the gig.  
I don’t wish to suggest it was all covers.  To be honest, I couldn’t tell the general ratio of originals to covers, as I suspect that in their areas and the back-catalogue decades they cover they have better and deeper knowledge than me.  They use this to pluck out some gems, that work well.  They did a great version of (unless I’m remembering wrong) Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ which impressed me for both style and choice of song.  There was some Beatles in a great version of ‘Come Together,’ and a range of others that I won’t go on about.  They also did lots of songs I didn’t know, but enjoyed as well.  

Ah, sounds like they are the best thing since sliced bread from looking back on my own writing above.  Don’t want to pretend that, but they do their thing, and they know it and they do it well.  They created a good vibe that created a good night.  I’ll take that in a band.

The Love Ancients: doing their thing.  Creating a vibe.  Making for a good night.