You can read 9 more articles this month
They Might Be Giants
THEY might be responsible for influencing some of the most excruciatingly whiny pop-punk purveyors of the 1990s — Green Day, the Offspring, Blink 182 and Barenaked Ladies — but some groups of that ilk are just about good enough to get away with it. Weezer are one and They Might Be Giants are another.
It’s slightly odd to see the latter, best known for the 1989 hit Birdhouse In Your Soul, in the rarified confines of the Barbican’s main hall. But with an expanded line-up, including trumpeter Curt Ramm, the acoustics of the space serve the iconic group well.
Fantastic rhythm section aside, the Giants are primarily the dynamic duo of guitarist-singer John Flansburgh and singer-multi-instrumentalist John Linnell — both equally “leaders,” although the former provides more comic relief — and both as nasal in their delivery as the other.
With their 20th studio album I Like Fun released earlier this year, it’s as well that they perform two full sets, as diehard fans would surely not appreciate merely a showcase of their latest.
They launch into their most recent single The Communists Have the Music, which is as catchy as they come — “I don’t need a rationale/To sing the Internationale” — and it sets the tone for the two-plus hours of tunes. Other highlights include Let’s Get It Over With off their last album and the brilliant, accordion-driven She’s An Angel from their debut LP.
Of course they slip in Birdhouse In Your Soul, so subtly in the middle of the first half that the audience are suddenly on their feet. Rather than have that as the finale they instead opt for a live fade out of Hey Mr DJ. There’s also a wonderfully brassy rendition of Istanbul after the interval that has the audience up again.
There are certainly moments of corniness but the band’s effortless skill in honing a catchy pop tune, along with their quirky sense of humour and jazzy instrumentation, will ensure that they might be around for a whole lot longer.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.