Good Shoes: Club NME. KOKO, London; Friday December 22, 2006

Not-so-good shoes, but a gig laced with ace tunes and smart cardies

The first thing that strikes you about Good Shoes is, well, that they have terrible – and we mean awful – footwear: dodgy, clumpy orthopaedic numbers that would’ve got you beaten up in the playground by the kids with the flashing LA Gear and Reebok Pumps. But what they lack in snazzy footwear, they make up for by pulling wistful catalogue poses in a selection of cosy sports-casual cardigans. In fact, these boys are model performers.

Top sweaters aside, they have other aces up their knitted sleeves: the tightest, sucker-punch new wave pop songs this side of Wire. Tonight, recent single ‘Photos On My Wall’ shivers with gusto, beer is thrown at a rate which belies its London price tag, and the beaming throng are flung around the perky tumble-pit, as the four-piece move nonchalantly about the stage, oblivious to the brown, foaming waterfall of booze splashing upon their fresh faces.

The stop-start yelp-along of ‘Never Meant To Hurt You’ is as terse and splendid as the band themselves, who all snap from side to side like a jovial, jumble-sale Help!-era Beatles. The song itself is a rambling tirade against love and a black-haired beauty who “wore too much Topshop”, a line which sees 200 girls check their outfits and wonder if maybe, just maybe, Rhys Jones is singing about them.

“I play in a band but I’ve got no talent”, yaps Rhys on ‘All In My Head’, as his gang strut to whooping cheers from the audience. Come on, son, there’s no need to be modest – your trainers may be rubbish, but your tunes are top.

Leonie Cooper