Pocket Venus earned themselves a well-known and oft-quoted place in modern musical history folklore by issuing the Bluetones a bunch of fives and turning down Sony Records, Pocket Venus Pocket Venus Pocket Venus, remember the name you’ll be hearing a lot more of it. Six months later, they took a bold step and released a radio un-friendly follow up to their widely acclaimed Make it Through Your Day debut, with the roaring Tell Me Why. Pocket Venus do it their way and are determined not to lick corporate ass to get there.
The end of last year found the band drifting a bit, original guitarist Steve Jones was creating roadblocks rising from the tension of delivering the killer hook and committing himself fully to the cause. But by 2003, with Jones out of the band, fellow founder Naldo Algieri (bass), keyboardist Dave, drummer Pete Ryan and Yates built a new version of the band, featuring Dyfed Roberts (onetime guitarist for Gwacamoli).
It was this version of the band that played The Shed’s Thursday night, touring behind their latest record, Tell Me Why, which has sprayed the territory marking Pocket Venus as songwriting masters. And let me tell you, Pocket Venus are as kick ass and classy a rock band as any I’ve seen, and I can’t help but think that if they were to move to London and start fighting their way up through the hovels and dives, any number of record labels and music magazine would be falling all over themselves to dub them the next U2, the next Oasis, the next Radiohead, or the next whatever the record labels and music magazines were excited about at the particular moment. New songs like “Sell Your Friends,” “Fall Away” and “Like You Too” held their own most emphatically with the classic EP & single cuts that filled out Thursday’s set.
The startlingly-angry-and-healthy-looking Yates was in fine voice throughout, his sultry and powerful vocal stylings range from softly subtle to a bellowing roar. And Dyfed Roberts, although new to the band somewhere along the line managed to turn himself into a real guitar hero, laying down string after string of sweet, sweet solo lines, just so and just right. Algieri, too, proved himself to be a virtuoso on his instrument, his left hand moving like a spider on crack, doing everything it could to get up that waterspout, taking numbers like the seemingly straightforward “Tell Me Why ” or “Through Your Day” into places where indie-flavoured songs rarely have the audacity–or opportunity–to tread.
Those two Pocket Venus on CD-era nuggets were set highlights, as were the other 4 songs in this 32 minute set. Based on the total package delivered by Pocket Venus on Thursday night, I think they have got it in ‘em to earn an important page or two in tomorrow’s musical history books, which should make for a bloody good read.