E-Men City

Monday, June 30, 2008 0:04 | Filed in Local Interest, Music, Reviews

I went to see a band at The Jolly Miller the other night. The band were E-Men City, and I needed to go and see them — their drummer used to be a colleague of mine, and I’d been saying for a long while that I’d go and see them as soon as they were playing somewhere that was:

  1. near me, and
  2. somewhere that I could get into (as they do a lot of weddings and you can’t just turn up to them to see the band…)

So how would I describe them? Well, firstly, I would say that they don’t look like a rock band. They look more like a collection of dads who have somehow taken over the stage after one too many pints … but

…they certainly don’t sound like it.

The set comprised a lot of songs that everyone knows:

  • 20th Century Boy (T-Rex)
  • Losing My Religion (REM)
  • The One I Love (REM)
  • Can’t Get Enough (Bad Company)
  • Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company)
  • Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  • Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
  • Breakfast At Tiffanys (Deep Blue Something)
  • Take Your Mama (Scissor Sisters)
  • I’m Tore Down (Eric Clapton)
  • Stuck In The Middle With You (Stealers Wheel)
  • I Love To Boogie (T-Rex)
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
  • Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
  • Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)
  • Let’s Stick Together (Bryan Ferry)
  • Love Is The Drug (Roxy Music
  • Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
  • Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)

…as well as the abomination that is ‘Summer of 69′ (but maybe that’s just me). There may also have been others, as I was busy enjoying the set so wasn’t always able to scribble down the appropriate notes.

A couple of points to note: firstly the musical balance was excellent; none of the instruments stood out — you didn’t particularly notice the guitars, or the drums, or the keyboards — they just all blended together into ‘the music’.

Secondly, while on the whole the songs were excellent — close enough to the originals so as not to upset anyone, but not trying to be just an imitation either — I feel I have to single out two as being of particular mention. The version of the Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar’ was stunning, and I was impressed how well the singer kept to a higher register during the Scissor Sisters ‘Take Your Mama’. Oh, and ‘Feel Like Making Love’. That track has been running through my mind ever since, so that must have been a good ‘un, too…

I’m very much aware that it’s difficult in a couple of paragraphs to get through to you how the band carried off the music so well: saying “they were good” is not sufficient to do it justice. What I would suggest is that you maybe check out their calendar / gig list and find out if they’re playing somewhere near you and hear them for yourselves.

There also appeared to be some young ladies dancing, waving around phallic fruit (a banana) and vegetables (a courgette?). I’m not entirely sure what was going on there, but I was informed that these were apparently musical instruments and not part of some strange ‘fruit fetish festival’…

Moving back to the music, the set as a whole suited me quite nicely — but having spotted the band’s playlist, I wish they’d done one of my own personal favourites…

…with the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne…Oliver’s Army (Elvis Costello)

They are very much a ‘wedding band’, playing a lot of weddings within an hour or so of Tyneside. If you’re planning on getting married, why not book ‘em? If you want to hear what they sound like, you can always download some samples … but they were good enough for Galaxy Radio’s arranged marriage (and more importantly than that, I’m saying they’re good too). And even if you weren’t planning on getting married, why not arrange to get married, and then book ‘em? Tell ‘em I sent ya…

Seriously though, they were a good band, I really enjoyed seeing ‘em, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any friends, relatives etc. Obviously, I’d advise people to check their set list first, ‘cos if you don’t like that sort of music, it’s not going to suit, but if you do…

But I do have a couple of minor quibbles. Firstly, the only one of them I actually noticed with a drink was the guy I know — the drummer — and he was drinking water with ice in it. That’s hardly ‘rock and roll’, now is it?

The one slight query I’d have was with the lead singer. At the end of the night, he said:

I’m going to finish with a song now…Gary from E-Men City

I was a little disconcerted by the implication that the rest of the act hadn’t featured songs, as that was what I had understood them to be, but then again I’m no musician…

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Comments to E-Men City

  1. Graham (drummer dad) says:

    June 30th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks Jack,

    I am well impressed you had almost all of the set down so accurately. If you’d asked I could have posted you a copy of the set list….

    It’s great to have someone go to the trouble of writing a lengthy review and better still that its a positive one.

    It’ll be interesting now to see how many comments I get from our web and IT colleagues and contacts about this……

    at least there are no photos………..

    catch you soon, and thanks again

  2. Kevin - Drummer says:

    July 6th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Good review of the E-Men hope someone can give The Beer Monkey’s one when we play Sat 02nd August 2008 as this will be the first one at this pub for us

Leave a comment