I'm mildly ashamed to say that I headed down to the Freebutt on the power of a quote from the NME, a publication I have chosen to ignore for most of my adult life. But hey, they mentioned the Sugarcubes and that was it really... I managed to catch the support band The Hornblower Brothers first who were a nice surprise and warmed up the freezing winter cockles of my heart with some happy, folky and darkly amusing tunes. Another fact about this band is they are fronted by the youngest person ever to remind me of George Fornby. Seriously it was weird - but good weird. So, onto the main act. Stricken City are a foursome based in London who have had great reviews from a few of the major marketing..sorry music papers. It's obvious seeing them perform that they are fully prepared and poised for bigger and better things and are currently priming up to get on a bus and support Maximo Park on their UK tour this year. They are a musically polished band, but very effortless and very ramshackle at the same time. Rebekah Raa fronts them up and has a scruffy old Korg to go with her perfectly scruffy hair. She is an excellent front lady I hasten to add and jumps about the stage punctuating the songs with occasional little Bjork-like chirrups. There is also a bit of a Siouxie Sioux thing going on there, sound wise anyway. This girl is no Goth. It was a bit disappointing that more people didn't show up because I'm sure the atmosphere would have changed completely and it would have definitely been more of a 'happening' as opposed to an 'ok' gig. They still played off the crowd there was though and got people moving with the familiar poppy sound of the late 80's early 90's. Think Sugarcubes (yes ok the NME were right about that) mixed with Fun Boy Three (that was just me) style tribal drumming. Now I've had their single Tak o Tak bouncing around my head for about a week or so and it still is now - it's brilliant! Apart from that though I can't really say any of the other tracks stood out. Apart from the last one, but maybe that was because it sounded almost exactly the same as the single. Oh well, like I've already said, in a packed out venue I think Stricken City would be a happening to remember. Now I'm off to play some Sugarcubes.