Pete Fij and Terry Bickers' album, 'Broken Heart Surgery', is one of the year's highlights, but it's not easy listening at all. It is very much an acquired taste, and it helps if you know both artists' past work.

Pete was in mid-1990s Creation Records' band, Adorable, whom had a baggy sound, while Terry Bickers was also signed to Creation and in the first line-up of early shoegazers, the House of Love. He appeared on their first two albums, and, having originally left in 1989, is now back with them.

'Broken Heart Surgery' is an album of heartbreak, sadness and bitter regret. So how does this come over in a live setting? Well, very well indeed, but I don't think anyone in the crowd just popped in after reading the poster outside the venue on the street.

Both musicians now live in Brighton, and their friendship and the creation of this album happened over a five year period, Live, it's just Pete on acoustic guitar and Terry on lead electric. Terry's slick guitar lines recall Lou Reed during the Velvet Underground's elegant, feedbackless period, while Pete makes his acoutsic guitar playing look effortlessly easy. Pete sings the vocals as a well, delivering each song in a crisp fashion to the seated audience.

I was expecting a short set, but they surprise me and play for almost eighty minutes, ending with this gig a year of touring this album. Several new songs are aired as well, as is 'Sound of Love',the first number they composed together, and 'Let's Get Lost', a love song written about their relationship.

Pete also tells two stories, one for 'Lost Property', a new song, about how he gained a best friend in the form of a favourite teddy bear, and another about almost got a girlfriend but didn't but because of that he gained another girlfriend whom finally became his wife.

The music tonight shines but, with only Pete's acoustic and Terry's electric guitars, it remains an acquired personal taste. This was for me a perfect way to spend a winter's evening.

Set List:

Loved and Lost
Betty Ford
Queen of Stuff
Let's Get Lost
Sound of Love
A To Fade In
I Don't Give a Shit About You


Lost Property
So Hot
Out of Time

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Commenting On: Firebug, Leicester, 6/11/2014 - Pete Fij and Terry Bickers

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