I have to say that Toodar are fast becoming one of my favourite bands of the summer. Effortlessly fun to listen to, they manage to blend pop and electro sounds without really becoming an electro-pop band, mainly due to Tom’s wonderfully soulful voice which soars over the music, linking everything together and turning it into something…other, I think is the only way I can describe it. Their sound really defies categorisation, apart from saying that I like it more every time I hear it. They seemed to have slightly less in the way of weird and wonderful instruments than the last time I saw them, but this in no way detracted from the fantastic complexity of their set. ‘We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea’ again stood out as being a truly incredible track. Based on an Arthur Ransome book of the same name, the song has a very ocean-like quality as it dips and swells, showing off not only Tom’s voice but other members of the band as well in some beautiful harmonising. I definitely want to hear more from these guys. Brute Force seemed a fairly incongruous name for the aging All-American crooner who took to the stage with his daughter (introduced, of course, as ‘Daughter of Force’). Billed as an ‘Apple legend’, I wiki’d him later on to find out that he really has been involved with everyone and everything – from the Beatles to Ghostbusters. He started and ended his set with two sing-a-long songs, and bantered easily with the audience between tracks, who certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves – it was hard not to really, despite the fact that I didn’t know any of the songs. It was certainly a performance. Misty’s Big Adventure (MBA) were fantastic. Reminding me a lot of the Divine Comedy (mainly due to Grandmaster Gareth’s voice; although their music wasn’t entirely dissimilar it had more echoes of early Madness in my opinion) the 8-piece band consisted of a trumpet and a saxophone in addition to the standard singer, guitar, bassist, drums and keyboard combo. The more observant of you will have noticed that this only makes seven. The eighth member of the band was really something else. Dressed in a long red robe covered in blue stuffed fabric hands, sporting blue gloves himself and blue makeup across his face, his part in the proceedings consisted of dancing around on stage, sometimes acting out the music, sometimes not, and occasionally venturing out into the audience to shock unwary spectators. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I instantly loved it. Playing a blend of pop/jazz/ska, MBA soon had the room dancing, and ‘Fashion Parade’ went down a storm – a cheery sounding but quite bitter song about a band who decide to make lots of money by ripping off other bands; it works well for a while, but suddenly they fall out of favour, due to lots of other bands popping up sounding exactly the same. It is at this point that they realise their manager has done a runner with all of their money. I’m not sure whether or not it was based in truth – the cheeriness with which it was sung would suggest not – but it was certainly fun to listen to, and obviously a favourite with the crowd. Brute Force joined MBA on stage for the final part of their set, and while at first this went down well – ‘Sandwich’, for example, was very well received by the crowd – it seemed as though the band had lost some of their flair. I don’t know if they were tired by this stage, or if the two acts didn’t quite gel together - Brute Force certainly loved the limelight, which is fine when he’s performing on his own, slightly less fine on a stage full of people. I enjoyed ‘No Olympian Heights’ and ‘I Find This Annoying’ was wonderfully quirky, but ‘King Of Fuh’ seemed entirely centred around a very bad pun, which may have been controversial and shocking in the 60s but fell a bit flat tonight, and the whole thing seemed to go on about 20 minutes too long for me. What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!