Xmas Freak Show

Fri 13 Dec 2019
Railway Hotel, Southend
Artists watched: Cumposers, High/Low, The Get, Tuppeny Bunters, Les Carter, Penny Antics

Poster for Xmas Freak Show

I was hoping to catch High/Low in November at the launch party for their fourth album, Down The Wave. They cancelled that show and rearranged for tonight - playing as part of a multi-stage event at the Railway Hotel to celebrate Christmas, maybe? (I suppose the clue is in the title ...)

It's fantastic to see a pub like the Railway not only put on live music but put on as much as they possibly can. The main area was downstairs, I was familiar with the upstairs gig room having been there before, but they managed to find a third room to squeeze bands into too. Spoilt for choice!

First band I caught were Cumposers, who I think are a Swedish duo who have now settled in Southend, although I could be waaay wrong with that. There were a lot of songs about yesterday's general election - I didn't get the result I wanted, so it was a little bit depressing to be reminded about that!


Next up were the aforementioned High/Low, in a very small and very dark room, which filled up nicely with people until we were all shoulder to shoulder. I have to thank my P30 Pro for helping me out with the lighting a bit here.


Back to the first room to catch another Southend band, The Get. I've been aware of them for a long time because they sent me some CDs when the radio station launched in 2007 - but this was the first time I managed to catch them live. I think this picture captures their performance nicely!

The Get

The find of the evening for me was definitely Tuppeny Bunters - a husband/wife duo who not only played some great garage/psychedelic rock but also swapped instruments frequently during the set - and also run the pub, as if that wasn't enough!

Tuppeny Bunters

My old friend Les Carter was on the line up too ... despite being a Londoner/now in Kenter Les has got some fairly strong musical roots in Essex too and it was good to catch him on what was his 100th gig in 2019. His set was mostly Abdoujaparov and it wouldn't have been too wide of the mark if he'd billed the band name tonight. No Carter USM tracks which isn't a problem as the Abdou stuff is so good ... but he did sneak in a Bay City Rollers cover.

Les Carter

The final band I caught were Penny Antics, who I've seen live on Phoenix FM in the past but not on an actual stage. Pretty pleased with seeing six bands tonight and I think it's definitely kick-started my Christmas spirit for the year!

Penny Antics



I didn't catch most of the setlists except Les's, which went as follows:
  • Benjamin and Jumble
  • All I Want To Talk About Is Her (a song co-written with his Carter USM partner Jim Bob)
  • Fingers
  • Up All Night (a song he wrote while he was a member of Ferocious Dog, a band he's recently left)
  • Shang A Lang (Bay City Rollers Cover)
  • My Little Life
  • There's A Monster In My Garden
  • Maria's Umbrella
  • Abdoujaparov Theme
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