Always the silver chair
Pete Joj and Terry Bickers live in Worthing
Pete Fij & Terry Bickers

The Persia Room, Grand Victorian Hotel, Worthing - 2nd July 2014

Looking like a pervert's playhouse from the 1970s, it is as though the Persia Room has just had its doors broken down to admit daylight for the first time in forty years. Garish and decadent, this is a fascinating venue for Pete Fij to have chosen for this rare home town gig in the company of his legendary guitar partner Terry Bickers. Brightly patterned wallpaper adorns walls which are draped in bamboo and ribbons, whilst lava lamps and stained glass paint the room in gaudy colours which only enhance the metallic painted furniture, curious statuary and archaic carved woodwork. It is an odd place indeed and perhaps an appropriate one in which to play out songs which themselves were frozen in time before finally being dragged kicking and screaming into the light.

It's over fourteen months since Terry and Pete began the serious work of promoting Broken Heart Surgery in earnest with an appearance at The Albert in Brighton and a lot of water has flown under the proverbial since then. A hugely successful Kickstarter campaign undoubtedly boosted confidence and allowed the duo not only to get the record into production, but to aid in its promotion as well. And the reaction to its release, so many years after its inception, has been fabulous if unsurprising to those in the know. Picked up by various DJs and radio stations, the quality of this collection could not fail to be noticed and pleasingly the live dates have spread rapidly across the country from the occasional Sussex foray to far flung outposts of the Empire such as Norwich, Coventry, Northampton, Hebden Bridge, Colchester, Leeds, Stockton and Leicester.

It's very well deserved recognition and proof that talent isn't always ignored in this world. And quite frankly, these towns and cities are in for an extremely enjoyable evening. The live set has been finely honed by now with a couple of additions in that Adorable's greatest moment 'Homeboy' has been integrated into the encore along with Spaceman 3's 'So Hot' while the remainder of the evening is largely taken from the album, embellished by that other Adorable highlight, 'A To Fade In'. Given the downbeat mood of the duo's songs it seems perhaps fitting that two silver chairs are carried on to the stage whilst abundant gold ones are lying all around. The album may be going well but only runners-up spot is taken for granted.

The relaxed air adds to the enjoyment. Pete likes to introduce the songs in some length while Terry likes to retune his strings. Sometimes Pete talks for so long that Terry has time to tune them twice, the atmosphere clearly playing havoc with the instruments. Not that the maestro ever puts a note out of place; his touch is divine adding a depth to Pete's compositions that is deserved by the cleverness of the lyrics and the unflinchingly heartfelt delivery.

These are classic songs. 'Out Of Time', 'Parallel Girl', 'I Don't Give A Shit About You' and the sublime 'Betty Ford' must surely endure as long as music is played. Wit, humour, pain, passion and humanity are all rolled into small, palatable parcels of sound that can't fail to move you. With date after date selling out across the land, do try and witness this pairing of old heroes if you possible can. It'll touch you in all the right places.

Words and pics Adam

Pete Fij and Terry Bickers live in Worthing
Reviews Jan-Mar 2014
An Interview with The Fauns
Reviews April-June 2014
Camden Crawl 2014
Hookworms live at The Haunt, Brighton
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