The Computers @ The Bodega, 31/10/15
Five piece garage soul band The Computers stopped off at The Bodega on their UK tour with a set to showcase their new style.
I first saw The Computers play five years ago at Exeter Cavern. Their fast paced shouty punk n roll making me run round and lose my glasses in the sweaty teenage mosh. Fast forward five years to last Saturday it felt strange at 21 to be one of the younger members of the audience.
This is not without reason though, their 2013 soul/rock n roll album ‘Love Triangles, Hate Squares’ was a big shift in musical style and much more accessible than their 2011 hardcore punk n roll release ‘This is The Computers’. So whilst the audience of their crowds five years ago were filled with teenagers and people in their 20s, the ages of the crowds has also increased. They are a band that my mum and step-dad now really like but didn’t use to.
They kicked the set off with new single ‘Want the News? Here’s the Blues’ and followed that with several new songs of the forthcoming album, which were all as soulful and catchy as the last and with many ‘oohs’ or ‘woahs’ to singalong to. I took a particular likening to ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Way Down’. And with new songs comes new outfits. The band has traded in their Burton suits for flowery funky shirts, highlighting how much they value their look as part of the show.
Front man Al Kershaw went into the crowd many times, dancing with the audience and getting members of the crowd to dance with one another. Towards the end of the set he used a small unstable stand to stand on and sing from in in the middle of the dance floor. I was reminded of their punk roots when he then got people to circle pit around for their 2nd to last song ‘Music is Dead’. There aren’t many other frontmen that I’ve seen that really get the crowd going like Al does. Their musicianship and stage presence is and always has been fantastic. Ex Sharks member James Mattock is a fine addition to the band on rhythm guitar and his backing vocals add a nice element. A cover of ‘Pet Semetary’ by The Ramones was the first song of the encore before ending the night with the soul ballad ‘C.R.U.E.L’.
Sadly only about fifty people were there at The Bodega on Saturday night, not necessarily the bands fault, as it seemed the venue were more focused on promoting their club night after called ‘Creatures of the night’.
I’ve always commended The Computers as they are an act that always change with the times and you can tell how much they effort and thought they put into their live show. Front man Al states ‘We are the undisputed heavy weight champions of rock n roll, the saviors of soul’. He talks the talk, and from what I’ve seen over the years from The Computers, they walk the walk.
by Sam Bigwood