Too Much Lipstick at Stanbridge charity event

May 28 2016

It says an awful lot about a band who, when asked, offer their services for free to support a charity.

It says an awful lot about a band who, when asked, offer their services for free to support a charity.  The band in question hail from Bath and go by the name of Too Much Lipstick (TML) – a group who describe themselves as a ‘six piece upbeat indie pop band with a passion to bring great tunes and happiness to the masses.’  They certainly do this and much, much more.
For me, TML are the smell of summer.  Their catchy, uplifting songs are the musical equivalent of fragrant, freshly cut grass. Listening to them excites me, just like an ice cream van used to, belting out the Green Sleeves tune when I was seven.  If they were a drink, they’d be a bottle of Corona with a wedge of lime jammed snugly into the bottle neck.  As you can tell, I like them.  A lot. It’s difficult to make comparisons between this band and others, but if you can imagine the song writing brilliance of the Verve accompanied with the sublime vocals of the New Radicals, you’d get an idea of what we’re dealing with.
Watching TML perform at a charity event for addaction at Stanbridge Primary School was rather surreal.  Three members, Pete Mooney (vocals), Ben Norris (lead guitar) and George Taylor (rhythm guitar) smashed out a mini acoustic set in just under forty minutes.  The gig consisted of slow and fast, catchy upbeat numbers, punctuated throughout with banter between audience and lead singer.  Early on we were treated to the extremely beguiling ‘Drive’ followed by the anthemic single ‘Follow Me’ which sounds even better when stripped of bass guitar and drums.  The lyrics, “Have you ever had a love, a love like this, a love like this? Have you ever wanted more?” resonated around the packed school hall and of course we did.  We wanted much more.  The band’s first ever single, ‘Forget Me Not’ also got an acoustic makeover and it was transformed from what is usually sweet, poppy froth into a brooding, dark tune about the folly of falling in love at a young age.  Or at least that’s my interpretation of the song.
“The great thing about doing intimate gigs like this is that we can try out new material,” Pete admits midway through the gig and the audience were treated to a couple of (unnamed as yet) songs that signpost the musical direction that this band will be taking in the future.  No doubt about it, TML will go places.  They’ve already supported the likes of The Hoosiers, Reef and Jesus Jones and won the prestigious Battle of the Bands award.  Major record labels want their signatures and they performed to over 3,000 people at a Christmas event last year, so it was a privilege having them perform in Downend.  
‘Up All Night’ was the penultimate song of the evening – the sort of tune that makes you want to put your foot down on the accelerator when driving.  You know the sort of song I’m talking about – Steppenwolf with a smattering of The Offspring for good measure.  The fast, rhythmic guitar playing was simply sublime and the audience were left desiring more from the band, which they got in the form of ‘Dance’ – an intelligently written song which, for me, was the highlight of the set.  If the band Reef (remember them from ‘Place your Hands’ fame!?) had ever written a stunning love song, I imagine it would have sounded like this.  Something magical happened when listening to it.  You couldn’t help but get taken on an emotional journey with the lead singer; such is the engaging nature of the lyrics.
Keep an eye out for this band in the future.  They’re up and coming and they gig from time to time in and around Bath and Bristol (next up at the Big Gig in Paulton on July 16th).  At the moment they’re currently recording an album but you can listen to their music on Youtube, Spotify or Sound Cloud.  Have a listen – you won’t be disappointed.          James Baker