London Camden Jazz Cafe

[B]Goddard[/B] attacks his songs with gleeful irreverence, somehow managing to wrest a ream of sparkling tunes, like forthcoming single [B]'Nasty Man'[/B], from the elegant chaos of his under-rehea

It’s 11pm. “We’ve got to go now,” announces Vic Godard. “I have to be up early tomorrow.” He’s not lying either: he’s a part-time punk legend, but a full-time postman. It’s that sort of evening.

How The Nectarine No 9‘s Davey Henderson has earned a crust in the lengthy gaps between fronting Edinburgh luminaries the Fire Engines and Win is a mystery, but whatever trade he’s plied has not dented his ambition to raise pop’s treble levels to 11. The Nectarine No 9 remain delightfully awkward, never settling for simplicity as long as their three guitarists allow them to crowbar three concurrent melodies into every song.

Godard, conversely, was once the personification of absolute pop minimalism. His return from self-imposed exile with an album, ‘Long Term Side Effect’, which casts him as a bizarre combination of Franz Kafka and The Four Tops, has seemingly kicked all of that into touch. He attacks his songs with gleeful irreverence, somehow managing to wrest a ream of sparkling tunes, like forthcoming single ‘Nasty Man’, from the elegant chaos of his under-rehearsed performance.

A reputation casually trashed, then, but a glorious return nonetheless. The GPO’s gain is pop music’s loss.