THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS+ Tubelord. Oakford Social Club, Reading. 18.10.09

The start of a tour featuring a terrific tag-team of totally tuneful but arty and inventive, tousle-haired, twiddly-guitared outfits, tonight has the potential to be great. And Tubelord don’t disappoint. Sure, the Kingston trio (now with new bassist in tow) owe a lot to acts like The Fall Of Troy and Biffy Clyro but they sound more like their own band with every show. Tunes from new album ‘Our First American Friends’ are tight, dynamic, and, vitally, original too. And if getting everyone to sit down while they recite Ginsberg is hokey, a schizophrenic but captivating ‘Night Of The Pencils’ starts superb and explodes into what our merry ears might call one of the best songs ever written.

Not that This Town Needs Guns lack killer tunes. ‘Lemur’ pops in all the right places, ‘Baboon’ is all-at-once off-kilter and even a little out of tune but trap-tight and beautiful too, and ’26 Is Dancier Than 4’ is perfect, the sort of no-hit wonder that deserves to be dug up and discovered in years to come and declared the classic it’s always been. The Gunners air new material too, showcasing an unnamed song that’s a real revelation for them- magnetic and complex but slick, fast and danceable, all without once sounding cheap and dirty. It points towards the bigger things that this band have deserved for some time and rounds up a night that delivered all it promised, terrific from start to finish.

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