Giant Drag: Carling Bar Academy, Birmingham: Tuesday April 18
Woman of many talents brings out the catcalls in us all
Doesn’t she make you sick? We’re jealous of Annie Hardy. Sure, everyone has a talent – or at least we’ve been told as much by worried parents making a last ditch attempt to stop their offspring from applying for Big Brother – but there’s nothing singular about her abilities. Giant Drag’s frontwoman is not just blessed with a honeyed voice, a swoon-worthy stage presence, an ear for great tunes and an understated amount of guitar wizardry – she also boasts an abundant wit that most comedy club owners have wet dreams about. You get the feeling that if anyone even tried to heckle her, they’d get put down faster than a knackered horse on Grand National day. There are times when the punters seem more content to hear her crack gags and dish out one-liners than actually play. But when the between-song banter stops, both she and drummer Micah Calabrese unite to charm our collective pants off again – this time with the kind of gorgeous indie-pop that makes it a little bit easier to get out of bed every morning. Sublime songs like ‘This Isn’t It’ and ‘Pretty Little Neighbour’ have Breeders-esque melodies that shine like small gems and yet still possess enough of a rock’n’roll kick to make a dent in the hardest of heads. It might have caused a right stink between them and their record company, but the duo’s brilliantly edgy version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ is still played with plenty of gusto. However, even that can’t steal any of the infectious glory from ‘Kevin Is Gay’. It’s unquestionably their anthem – so much so, that Hardy invites the crowd to join in the joyous meowing that ends the track as though she were attempting to recreate the ambience of a catnip party. Smells like teen spirit to us.