It’s Thursday night and I’m on my way to north London to see the Cesarians. The London-based band have just released their first single, 'Flesh is Grass', which earned a lot of favourable reviews so I’m looking forward to seeing them live.

When I get to the Water Rats, the venue where they are playing, I see there is a small crowd of fans gathering outside. Most of them are smoking. To my surprise quite a few of them have dyed red hair and I see three or four of them are wearing a kind of Robin Hood hat. It should be an interesting night…

I go inside and get myself a drink and then walk though to the back of the venue where the stage is. Since I live in south London I’m hoping the band won’t take too long to come on the stage.

Lead singer, Charlie Finke, finally emerges from the backstage just after 10. He is dressed in a black coat and has something tied around his head. He then launches into a monologue which leaves me a little confused. I look around and see some fans laughing, some just as confused as I am and some almost hanging on to his lips. After about five minutes he turns his back to the audience and I see he has a female mask on the back of his head. He then starts talking as if he was a women. This monologue is over after about another fifteen minutes so hopefully the band will play some music now.

And they do. The Cesarians come up on the stage just before 10:30 and start with 'Flesh is Grass'. The song reminds me of the Bitter Springs and Vic Godard, merging music hall sounds with punk music.They use a good variety of instruments including a trumpet and certainly know how to play them.

Unfortunately I have to leave after about twenty minutes of their performance to catch the train home so I don’t get to see the end.

I have to say the Cesarians are a good band but perhaps try to be too clever for their own good. They should drop the theatre at the beginning and do what people expect a band to do: make good music.











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Commenting On: Water Rats, London, 7/2/2008 - Cesarians








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