“Someone tell me to shut up or we’ll be here all night!”. It’s a rare skill to make an audience enjoy the blethering between songs as much as the performance, but it’s something Tilly Harris – bass player and self-described chatterbox with adorable Pub-Rock poppets The Bug Club –pulls off like a light entertainment champ.
To be fair, you’d have to be mining Squidward levels of misanthropy to deny a band who have aced the combination of the two-minute rock song with an attention to loveliness that makes your face ache from grinning.
Wrapping up the UK leg of their tour supporting recent quadruple album Rare Birds: Hour of Song, the Welsh three piece manage to rip through TWENTY-ONE songs plus aforementioned bantz in a breathless sixty minutes, pulling all in attendance into their world of whimsical pop punk.
Is This The Music You Like? might sound like a coy attempt to get folk onside from the giddyup but once guitarist Sam Willmett starts wiggling the hip flexors, there’s never any doubt where the energy in the room is headed. My Baby Loves Rock N Roll Music and Clapping In Time brings what some might see as a throwback sound fully up to date, taking cues from bands like Dr Feelgood and The Lovely Eggs (that’s two separate bands, not a supergroup btw) whilst still keeping the playfulness endearingly high.
Recent single Marriage quickly becomes a set highlight. Rhyming “garage” and “Spanish” with the song title is at the limit of what most bands could ever hope to lyrically realise and must surely be burnished onto laserdisc for future generations. Yes, it’s that important. Birthday boy drummer Dan plays with joyous abandon, wearing his A.C.R.A.B. slogan tee with a picture of, you guessed it, A CRAB. You don’t get this on Jools Holland.
Title track Rare Birds ends the set with the kind of lyrics that would have Chris Packham kicking off the mosh circle before the understated Suck It! brings the curtain down on a truly wild night.
If you’re having a rotten day, The Bug Club would turn the tide. They’d pay for your chips, not piss on them. America better buckle up cos they’re about to be invaded by something bloody lovely.