Went to this on Friday night. Cafe Oto is a great venue for those who haven't been. Pretty small with unreserved seating and nice beer on tap. I arrived as the band was sound checking it sounded pretty good. It was billed as a solo show so I had no idea if that meant just him or fronting a band. It was also billed as having him playing two sets with no support.
I got a good spot upfront and on came the band. Neil (carrying a rucksack), a drummer (wearing a suit) and another guy doing backup vocal (who looked full on Williamsburg hipster). It was one of those moments where think how the hell did these 3 people end up in a band together. There was a few teething problems early on, buzzing amps and some dodgy sound levels, so need Neil his guitar amp swapped for another one. It was looking like it might all go pear shaped. Neil couldn't find his slide to play a song so he's looking in his rucksack. He was playing a 3 sting guitar and running it through a pitchfork pedal then through two amps so it sounded like both a bass and a regular guitar at the same time. The drummer had a tiny bass drum, an old snare a cracked crash cymbal and and a xylophone. The other singer just sat in a chair drawing when he didn't have to sing.
Anyway, things got sorted and the band got down to business. All the songs had a kind of um-pa beat (kind of a marching band vibe to it) was kind of country but in a really strange (and cool) way. By the end if the first set they were sounding really great. They took a short break and then came back and played the same set again. This time they were on fire. A couple of the songs had a a refrain at the end which I thjnk a lot of people on here would have loved. Guided missile was a personal highlight - "guided missile, aimed at my heart" - great lyrics, really great song. He has this amazing, possibly genius ability to create these short, ragged songs that shouldn't really work but they do, and not only do they work but they also manage to be quite poppy and have some huge hooks. All this and it sounds like he's not even trying. At the end of each song Neil said "the howling hex ladies and gentlemen' - so I'm not sure if it was howlong hex show or a NMH show? It was a great night though. If you get a chance go and see him. I quite cheekily recorded most of the second set so if it's okay with the mods I'll put it up here. It's just an iPhone recording but it sounds pretty good.
Oh and this was written on my phone so please excuse my terrible spelling and grammar.