Most of those engrossed in the North East music scene will know the members of Meet Eric Roberts but for those a little less informed, here's a little context.
The band is essentially the creation of Pete Gofton, who after his "A" levels set sail, as drummer, on the ultimately doomed ship of Kenickie (which spawned TV presenter Lauren Laverne - Pete's sister).
|Pete Grofton by Steve Plimmer|
He then swam on solo in the guise of Badly-Drawn-Boyesque J Xaverre and future releases are due soon. However he had songs he had been nursing for years (in some cases over a decade) that needed a more full-blooded band sound, which he viewed as incongruous with the J Xaverre schtick.
His solution was to form a local "supergroup" with friends who happened to be making waves, to varying degrees, in their own right.
From all corners of the musical scene
One of my favourite solo singer/songwriters, John Egdell (who occupies himself being a member of Jenny and the Bets as well), Peter Brewis (lead singer of highly respected Wearside band Field Music), and Paul Smith of Maximo Park all switch instruments and sing backing vocals to flesh out Pete's tunes.
The draw amongst the region's musos, needless to say, is considerable and the venue, the Voodoo Rooms in Bar Pure, Sunderland, is a heaving sauna by the time the lads take the stage (they're first on).
|Pete Gofton and Peter Brewis rockin' it|
They have only 20 minutes of material but that is to be expected, considering how limited their rehearsal time must be (especially for Paul) but it all sounds good - if nothing like Field Music, Maximo Park or any other related band.
There's no denying the sound is pop with a seasoning of leftfield, Super Furry Animals style invention but the tunes and lyrics are somewhat more sophisticated and a little less immediate than, say, Crowded House pop. They have a definite upbeat sound which when they turn down the volume for the odd song turns into wistful.
The enterprise is, for the supporting members, entirely a fun, relaxing enterprise, an enjoyable diversion from their regular bands and the atmosphere on stage fully reflected that.
Broad beams were evident across all the protagonists' faces pretty much throughout the set and, after the finale of each member finishing the song by pounding their own floor tom for the better part of a minute, the crowd were obviously impressed.
Favourite song on the night: Starlight.