Sad news via Project X Presents is that Ross Lydon from the fine ska based band 360 has had a relapse of the back problem for which he had surgery earlier this year. This means that the band won’t be playing in the Project X Presents event on Nov 3rd.

As musical co ordinator this left me with a potentially major problem, but one which I was able to solve very quickly, having come across Dexter on myspace not long ago. As a local ska-based group they are about the perfect like for like replacement for 360 and their high energy music and attititude will fit well with the appropriate scene in the events theatrical narrative which has to do with being chased.

The band are young and and witty with a hint of punk and got a good reaction from a fairly sizeable crowd, also ensuring there were a good few young members of the audience to complement the slightly older crowd attacted by Jeffrey Lewis.

Middle act Professor Louie is a veteran of the alternative New York arts scene starting out in a 60’s radical theatre group and performing guerrilla solo performances of his spoken word in the streets and parks of New York City in the early 80’s. I found some of his stuff quite astute and moving and delivered with a quiet ferver and warmth to match the conviction.

New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis played with his brother Jack on bass, and keyboards and drums, offering witty and sometimes quite powerfully insightful lyrics, some good acid/garage style songs and his own comic book artwork often combining with or driving the narrative of the music. He reminded me of Jamie Kilstein, a young comedian who I was introduced to at the Edinburgh Festival by the indefatiguable Paul Provenza. Its interesting to see that they have arrived in somewhat similar places from different directions – Jeff being a musician with strong spoken word content and Jamie (a near neighbour of Lewis – he’s from New Jersey) a stand up comic with a musical intonation and rhythm.


Birmingham Music

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