Retro active Baggage34
Rachel’s Basement / The Jetsons

Birmingham Flapper & Firkin

I have to shamefacedly admit that my prejudices went into overdrive when The Jetsons appeared onstage – three blokes and a cute female lead singer with her hair in bunches. ‘Oh fuck,’ I thought, ‘It’s Sleeper’. However, two songs in and I’m guzzling my words with a vast side helping of humble pie, for tiresome girl-fronted indie they are not. Singer JJ (Jermaine Jetson, if you please) has a voice like Sonya Echobelly’s twisted psycho half-sister, one minute all coy and lisping faux-naïve sweetness, the next belting out massive choruses with a distinctive vibrato. Quirky without being gimmicky, this is complemented perfectly by the angular, jarring guitars and solid rhythm section.

Rachel’s Basement are a blast. It’s refreshing to see a couple of local acts who aren’t afraid to perform rather than just playing their songs and looking moodily at the floor. Singer/guitarist Dan is a charismatic and chameleonic frontman, one part Jagger, one part Iggy Pop, one part bandy-legged stick insect, who bounds about the stage playing off lead guitarist Marc, who has obviously nicked a few poses from the Brian May School Of Ridiculous Guitar Postures. The sound is steeped in tradition, but sounds fresh; Rachel’s Basement nod towards their influences, but don’t sound like any one of them.

A thoroughly entertaining evening- with two bands like this on your doorstep, if you weren’t there, where were you?

RetroActive Baggage