It’s funny how many music venues that support independent music are situated deep down beneath the ground. At least in London they are. Those who know London need only think of the Borderline, the Underworld, the Metro Club, and Needles to know what I am talking about. Another venue like that is the 100 Club on Oxford Street where the Broken Family Band and Garlic are playing tonight .

The entrance to the 100 Club is through a very tiny door, .so you have to be very careful not to walk straight past it. 2 staircases run down under the ground until you find the actual venue. A long stage runs along the back wall. Garlic, the main supporting band, are just preparing for their set when I arrive. Chairs and tables set up at each side of the stage are busily occupied with fans talking.

Garlic have been playing gigs on the London circuit for a few years now and have built up a loyal fan base. When the band start their set, people begin to gather around in front of the stage for the best view. Their music is catchy, and by the end of their first song people are already dancing. Garlic's music often has an easy going country character feel, but they also know how to strike up a rawer, more cutting sound too.

Most of the songs that the band are playing tonight come from their last album ‘Jam Sabbatical’ but they close their set with a brand new song. Garlic use every last second of their 30 minute set to the maximum.

The Broken Family Band start their set at 10 o'clock exactly. By now a lot of people have gathered right in front of the stage and are enthusiastically swinging to the country music that this 4 piece band also play. It’s obvious that many of the people down the front of the stage are enjoying the set. As for myself I have to admit that perhaps the first few songs share too much of the same character and are slightly predictable. Also I see a few Garlic fans leaving.

The second half of the set , however, lightens up as the band start playing with increasing energy. Steven Adams, the singer, even dedicates one of the songs to his boss who has been working solidly for the last 4 days.

When the Broken Family Band close their set their fans loudly applause and demand an encore. While I didn’t enjoy the beginning of the set that much, the end definitely has more of a sparkle to it . They are a band of definitely strong potential.

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Commenting On: 100 Club, London, 12/2/2004 - Broken Family Band/Garlic

ie London, England

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