I had never heard of the venue Needles before the 3rd December when Bitter Springs headlined there. That was a good enough reason to find out where the venue is. Needles is just off Great Portland Street in central London. You go down some stairs and then behind the door and a red curtain find what looks like a little secret wine-drinking room. There is a bar decorated with wine plants and a few pictures which feature again lots of different kinds of wines.

The bands were slight delayed so the first band only came on at just before 9. The four piece Lazarus Effect gave the night a fiery opening. Even though the band have a quite heavy sound for the start of a show, the audience seemed to like it and gathered round in front of the group.

The second support came from Stained Glass Heroes. The band recently signed to Gene Pool Records and have their debut single due out early in 2004. I had been promised a Joy Division influence and while they definitely haden’t adopted their whole spirit there were certainly elements rooted deep down in the music. A keyboard enriched the music with it spacy sound. but it was also able to create a more serious feel for their songs as they needed it..

Finally, the headliners, Bitter Springs came up on the stage just before 10:30. The first words, however, didn’t come from the band. An elderly man with a striking white hat confidently took hold of the microphone and with much glamour introduced Bitter Springs. From the reaction of the audience I got the impression there was not really any need for it.

It was the first time I had seen Bitter Springs and I was not disappointed. Their songs have a strong story telling element. Simon Rivers, the singer and also song writer, delivered his lines as if he was just coming up with them moment from moment.

‘The Red Mist Descends’ and ‘Vagina Trees With Penis Leaves’ from the latest album ‘Suburban Crimes Of Every Happiness’ got a few fans even dancing. Bitter Springs played their music with a natural feel that made you comfortable as if you knew them for a long time. Aside from that they were also very entertaining to watch with Simon dancing and walking in front of the band which consisted of a drummer, guitarists, keyboardist and a violinist.

Unfortunately, as a result of the delay, Bitter Springs were forced to cut their set short and the audience were not happy with that. It took a bit of effort to persuade the venue manager to allow the band one more song.

It was definitely an entertaining night. 3 relatively different bands, but all with an honesty and a creative character, which appealed to tonight’s audience with great success.

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Commenting On: Needles, London, 16/12/2003 - Bitter Springs, Stained Glass Heroes and

ie London, England

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