Monday, July 21, 2008

Supergrass at the Avalon

In the midst of a US tour opening for the Foo Fighters, Supergrass descended upon the Avalon for a special headlining set in support of their new album Diamond Hoo Ha. Supergrass barely made it to the venue in time as, Gaz Coombes (Vocals/Guitars) needed a police escort to the venue as he was cross-town at the UCLA for the taping of the VH1 Rock Honors playing with the Foo Fighters.

The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders continue to tour endlessly in support of their outstanding debut album Talking Through Tin Cans. I was unable to catch them a few weeks ago opening for We are Scientists at the El Rey. The Morning Benders also wrapped up a successful tour opening for the Kooks and recently has released a batch of cover tunes entitled The Bedroom Covers where they cover such artists as The Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac, and The Cardigans. They didn't play any covers on this particular night but covered a good portion of their album. "Patient, Patient" is one of my favorite tracks from their album and was replicated nicely at the Avalon. The large amount of touring has enhanced their live show as they have slightly altered their tunes by adding extra notes as Joe Ferrell (Guitars) was huddled over his "Britney Spears" Telecaster. The Morning Benders will be back in town on August 7 at the El Rey with Airborne Toxic Event and Radars To The Sky. You can also download their covers album for free from their blog.


I last checked in with Supergrass when they were opening for Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl. Supergrass continues to churn out impressive straight up British rock that is admired by musicians but criminally overlooked by the masses. You know you are at a rock show when the band has their name suspended above the stage in bright lights. "Diamond Hoo Ha Man" was a fitting opener to their set as they blazed through the tune. Gaz had a sweet Red Gibson Hollowbody howling as his power chords rippled through the airwaves. The bouncing bass line of "Bad Blood" filled the room before Gaz kicked it into overdrive accompanied by some electronic effects by Rob Coombes (Keyboards).

Supergrass didn't need a flashy sign with their name on it because their songs are flashy enough. Gaz switched to a clean acoustic guitar tone as he strummed the chords of "She's So Loose" from their debut album I Should Coco to the roar of approval from the crowd. "Rebel In You" was another rocking tune from their new album that featured some Rhodes keyboard work similar to Supertramp. Danny Goffey (Drums) positively shined with his lead vocals on "Ghost In You". I was thinking that Danny might need to sing more often. The ska influenced riff of "Brecon Beacons" melted into a hard rocking riff during the chorus to further cement my appreciation for the songwriting skills of Supergrass. A cowbell made an appearance with "Outside" as the vocal harmonies were out of this world. "Moving" had the crowd in the palm of Gaz's hand as he switched back to his acoustic based guitar tone.

Gaz switched to a Fender Telecaster for a scintillating version of "Sun Hits The Sky" from their In It For The Money album. Supergrass strategically ended their main set with "Pumping On Your Stereo" before darting off stage. Chants of encore continued until the members of Supergrass returned to the stage. Supergrass came back with their biggest hit, "Alright" replete with bouncy piano keys. Their roaring cover of The Police’s “Next To You” surprised me but it blended nicely into their set. "Caught By The Fuzz" was an ironic closer to evening because Gaz would not have made it to the show if it weren't for the police escort. I now wonder if they threw in the Police cover as an inside joke.

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