Review/Photos by Dylan McArdle
Having not played in some time, I’d kinda figured the band had gone the same way as Cain’s previous band Cartman and was in extended hiatus until I found out about Saturday’s CD launch. Unfortunately, The Avenues weren’t ready to take on the world (as it said in the Amplifier newsletter) as this was also their farewell show. Given that, it was a show I had to make it down to.
(click thumbnails for larger images)
Unlike previous CD launches, there were no support acts under obscure aliases, but instead we were treated by a great performance from a band I’d not seen before – The Preytells. A combination of strong vocals and tidy guitar work means that this indie pop act is one I’ll definitely look out for in the future.
But as good as The Preytells were (for those inside to see them), the night belonged to The Avenues. Some CD launches and farewells are all about getting guests up on stage to join in and this was no different, but it was the way it was well organised that made it special. On the older Avenues tracks, the “current” lineup made way for Tom Craig and Nic Jonsson and it felt like we’d gone back in time – especially hearing classics like “Company” for the first time in who knows how long. The band members, new and old, were far from rusty too and I think the pre-launch practice sessions must have paid off. It was like they’d never been apart.
For a band with a decent number of original tracks – a couple of familiar covers in “History Never Repeats” and “Taxman” were also highlights of the set. The later featured another favourite of mine – ex Autopilot front man Steve Parkin on vocals.
It was fitting that after an hour or so on stage that the last song of the night was indeed strongest track – “Gold and Grey” and as I remembered from times before Andy Lawson cut loose on stage. Sadly though, this would be the last time and despite the fact the band never really archived everything it could of done their career did end on a particular high and memorable note.