Salisbury Arts Centre

Ex-[a]House Of Love[/a] man [B]Terry Bickers[/B] is currently displaying his lightest pop touch yet...

There’s a madness in the house of God. This converted church is witnessing the comeback of an indie legend, famed as much for his eccentricity as his guitar playing. It’s a hastily-arranged one-off, and – with customary cavalier disregard for promptness – he’s turned up with just 30 minutes to spare.

Ex-[a]House Of Love[/a] man Terry Bickers, who once renamed himself Terry Tree in a fit of insanity and who has only been sporadically seen since Levitation split amid bitter acrimony, is currently displaying his lightest pop touch yet. He’s helped by singer Sam, crooning with the bombast of a baggy-trousered Neil Hannon, but songs like ‘Scratch Kids’ inhabit the uncharted middle ground between Madness and glam rock. Often reminiscent of Space‘s jokier moments, it’s occasionally fantastic, occasionally bordering on grand folly.

Bickers might dabble with pop, but fortunately the temptation to live up to his rep is too great – and it’s here that Monkey 7 are truly, brutally brilliant. Because if Dark Star, the other remnants of Levitation, got a quick brush of the musical madness syndrome, then ‘Get 007’ received the full lick. ‘Kinky Ron’ revels in expansive voodoo indie, ‘Kaud’ sounds like a ghostly lounge hymnal – but at the centre of it all, orchestrating the lunacy with a deft flick of his plectrum, is that man. It’s been a dull old world without him.

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