Field of Ponies start tonight’s Forbidden Planet. Luke, Andy & Josh are on guitars playing light hearted tunes, all instrumental and short, with Tim accompanying them on drums. While it comes across as a jam session, there has clearly been lots of thought and preparation going into the performance, Josh & Andy are watching each other intently for changes; its all very melodic, and they’re just playing around with ideas as they call it, a sketchbook of partial songs before they’re fully formed. For other 80’s music freaks think The Cure meets New Order just after Joy Division. I’m enjoying the mood, right up to where Josh needs to restring his guitar. If they find the right female vocalist they’re looking for, this could well be something….

Tim Smart does a solo set; he doesn’t know in advance what he’s going to do, so he plays a song then announces that this was his warm up, and we shouldn’t have listened to that! He proceeds to do single versions of duo songs (getting us to do the duet part) and then goes on to show off his highest pitch wails. He plays the accordion for one song, composited by stringing random French phrases together. I’m unsure what’s the funnier of the franglais phrases, the faces he’s pulling, that he’s having to stop every so often to pull the words from the book balanced on a cymbal, or that everyone else is killing themselves laughing 😉

Ali Bangay is our last performer up for the night, with Ben accompanying on drums. She has a small high voice when speaking, more than made up for when singing. She’s very active on the keyboard, making the most of the proper piano-like capabilities with full on chords and tune from either hand. She loses the words for a song, yet it doesn’t matter as the music is so good, its only her body language, face and apology afterwards that gives it away. Britney Spears’ Toxic is given a good treatment, not perhaps as twisted as Sarah Griffin’s cover, staying within the sweet voice theme, however the chords during the verse really give a strong undercurrent fitting with the lyrics. This 5-song set is a real delight to witness and listen to, so much so I was still raving about her performance the next day, which is very rare. At risk of annoying a lot of good keyboard players, I think this is the best ever pure piano work I’ve encountered on the local scene in memory. Amazing.