I'd been to see the Goan Dogs just before lockdown in 2020 and enjoyed it, so when I saw they were coming back I bought a ticket.
This time it was a cold Monday evening, when I turned up and, as before, there weren't many people there.
On this occasion there were two support acts, Worm Immortality Team and Pattern Pusher, and the first were soon on.
A few more people had arrived by then and a group of rather nerdy looking teenagers arrived and started playing - Initially they didn't look too promising, but then a waif-like girl appeared and started singing.
Musically, they were OK, but the girl's performance was quite interesting, lifting them to something worth listening to.
They got a good reaction from the audience and got a rousing applause when they finished. It was nice, too, to see them in the audience for the Goan Dogs later on!
Pattern Pusher were a three piece, self-described as an 'odd pop trio', with a lively bassist (who was even in the audience at one point!), a drummer and the lead singer who also played keyboards.
They had a more polished sound than the Worm Immortality Team and a more polished performance working through a cheerful, dancey set of tracks and certainly got the audience moving even more than 'the Team' had.
Maybe they could be accused of being a bit middle of the road, but the sound was pleasant and catchy and their performance was professional.
So two great support acts to get us started, the bar was pretty high! (Well the prices were at £6 a pint! But as my ticket had cost me about a tenner I was more than happy with the cost of the evening so far and the main act hadn't even played yet!).
And so to the Goan Dogs.
Since I'd last seen them I understand they'd got some radio play and while the small venue wasn't packed, there was certainly more people than 2020 and most people knew who they'd come to see, at least had heard their single on the radio.
Most of their songs tonight were taken from their recently released debut album and the tracks I knew were mostly absent, which was a bit of a shame as some of those were excellent.
Once again, they were very good live. I still can't really classify their sound, but it certainly felt, on this ocassion to have taken a slightly improvised, jazzy direction, which probably wasn't as catchy as older tracks, but certainly worked well in a live setting.
There was a lot of dancing, clapping and foot-tapping going on by the end of their set and the whole evening seemed almost absurdly good value when you consider the eye-watering prices some big acts charge to see them.
Bang for the buck, Worm Immortality Team, Pattern Pusher and the Goan Dogs blow Coldplay or Adele out of the water and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed a cold Monday with either of them half as much!
Setlist (Partial from Birmingham)
Call Your Mum
I Don't Want To Fight
Drinking on a School Night