Charlie Straight – Live @ Mother Bar 333
aaamusic | On 28, May 2013
Saturday 25th May, London
The lower floor of the Mother Bar 333 looks like one of those old basements present in most of the old music stories and where everything starts: “Once upon time, in the basement that smelled like beer and sweat…” and so on and so on. Sure the strobe lights and the bar with the refrigerated drinks and the draft beer helped a lot.
The venue was almost empty until the very last minute when people, almost sensing the moment Charlie Straight were due on stage, started getting there. The band opened with the energetic ‘Changing Trains’ anticipated by a percussion-keyboard intro. Albert Cerny, the frontman, was perfectly comfortable on the crammed stage. Before the performance he even took the measurement to see how much freedom of movements he was allowed. Let’s rock safely.
The band was warm from the beginning but the crowd was tough and didn’t always follow the hints to loosen up a little bit. There was no break between the songs; the concert was happening in apnoea. The ends and the beginnings of the songs were threads linked together. ‘Changing Trains‘ became ‘Something New’ – a quieter, dark ballad. The couples held onto each other and swung on the music of this song that, by the second half, took out its claws and got you in the vortex of the voices.
The third song was ‘Coco‘ and some kind of miracle happened when the crowd started singing along and it was clear the band was good at mixing up the pieces and giving the performance a good pace. If nostalgia was song it would be ‘Crush on a hooligan‘, fourth song on the setlist, simple and heartbreaking. With ‘Institutions of the world‘, the band went back to a lively and more biting sound and there was space for a more mature song in music and lyrics.
The performance ended with the edgier ‘Try some stuff You don’t think you should‘; the audience got carried away and started clapping along finally picking up the hints from the band.