It might have been April Fool’s Day but there was nothing foolish about the show happening Local & Wild at St James but, thanks to both Mike Meinke and Albert & The Pips there was a lot of fun, and great music.
Mike Meinke, in solo mode for this occasion, started his set with what he described as his most complex song, Breaking For Butterflies, and, while not one of his more well known songs, it set the tone for the set with Mike’s impressive work on the guitar as centre piece.
From there Mike said it would get less complex as things went on but there’s no denying the skill behind all of it with highlights coming with Ashram Traffic Jam, Experience Of Life and Chillin’.
Along with this Mike set the tone for the evening in the intimate venue as a very fun one with the performers engaging directly with the audience who were quiet but engaged and appreciative throughout with some nice moments of back and forth chat in the mix too.
Beginning with the appropriate So, We Got A Show, Albert & The Pips started their set on the same tone Mike Meinke had set earlier in the evening and the audience, now at capacity, responded from the off with many moving down nearer the stage for a closer look.
From there the band introduced us to a host of new material that spanned some quite complex subjects (Psycho and How To Lose A Mind) to seemingly more irreverent numbers (Sporty Spice and Mystical Encounter, for example) along with a rather terrific cover of band of the moment Wet Leg’s Chaise Longue.
Along with these we got a couple of more familiar songs with Out Of Trend and Dance Me being a couple of highlights that the crowd reacted to and the latter in particular getting a response like a hit single.
Another highlight, from the newer songs, was Dog Song while the chat between songs, ranging from seconds d hand jackets to risk assessments to ‘who’s your favourite Spice Girl’ may not sound it in the reporting was inspired and hilarious.
Closing the set with another brand new one, Meat Song, that the saw the band combine elements of Yard Act, (improbably) Rage Against The Machine, The Recks and Nick Cave getting buried in a torrent of fuzz showed the band really pushing their own boundaries before a genuine encore of The Coral’s Dreaming Of You.
This all showed Albert &The Pips to have stepped up a notch in all regards to become an eccentrically idiosyncratic new highlight of the island’s music scene and, following this sell out upstairs, they announced they will be putting in a show in the main hall in St James later in the summer as well.
You can see more of my photos from the show on my Facebook page by clicking here