Last night Simon, Paul, Drew, Sasi, Emma and I went to see Nottingham's finest, Bent, at the Islington Academy. Prior to a few weeks ago Bent had only just about registered on my musical radar. But over the past few years and after three albums (Programmed To Love, The Everlasting Blink and their newy, Ariels) I was surprised at how much of their stuff I knew. The place was packed and the crowd loved them. And I have to say my head was rather turned too.
Sounding somewhat down-tempo in the main (like Air, Zero 7 and Royksopp) they have in the past made surprising, but ultimately genius, collaborations with the likes of David Essex on 'Stay The Same', fleeting Seventies pop icons Captain and Tenille on the Balearic beauty 'Magic Love' and Billie Jo Spears on the country hoedown of 'So Long Without You'. They like a good sample do Bent. Rumour has it they've worked with Nana Mouskouri and Nicole Kidman is a big fan.
Last night they had just two women as singers who didn't look much unlike Jo and Susan from The Human League. However they sang like angels and did formatation dancing to the more up-tempo numbers. They did have this rather strange habit of sticking their thumbs up at the crowd after every song too which looked a tad comical at times. Very Bernard Matthews. Bootiful.
I'm not sure why Bent aren't bigger than they are actually. The music was great. The crowd danced and swayed. Maybe it's the 'kiss of death' journalism stuff like this that jinxes them:
BBC (2003): Nottingham's Bent are on the verge of making it big; even more so after the recent release of 'The Everlasting Blink'.
BBC (2004): Nottingham's Bent have been on the verge of making it big for the last couple of years. Now their new album Ariels is set to take them into the mainstream.
If you want to know more, their rather fabby teletext web site (http://www.bent-world.com/) is a joy.