Monday, 7 November 2016

Memories of 2016 gigs #8

#8: Teleman
The Globe, Cardiff – 17 October 2016
Support: The Hearts

The scene: Two 20-something blokes who looked like they just walked off the set of Made In Chelsea, talking loudly throughout the support band, throughout the interval and through the first three songs of the main act, paying no attention to the show whatsoever. Cue large, burly guy stood near them who butts in and, very politely, asks: "Excuse me guys, but are you going to talk all the way through this?"

My question: What would you do if you were said annoying talkative blokes?
  a) Apologise and stay quiet for the rest of the show?
  b) Apologise and leave because you're not interested in the band and don't want to cause annoyance to anyone else? Or
  c) Say "Yeah, we are," and show utter astonishment when advised that your loud obnoxious attitude is spoiling the show for those around you and that it might be better to either pipe down or go outside to have the conversation?

Think about this for a moment. If you answered c), you were probably one of those two utter pricks at the Teleman show in Cardiff on Thursday night. They did keep the noise down somewhat afterwards and spent occasional spells of up to one whole minute at a time actually watching the band between continual (quieter) conversations and looking at stuff on their phones, but you have to wonder what the fuck they were doing there. The burly geezer and his mate (who looked a little bit like Heston Blumenthal) were staggered at the pair of them and I couldn't help but congratulate them afterwards for stepping in and saying something while remaining calm and polite.

Anyway, the gig. The Globe was busier than I thought it would be, a near sell-out. Supporting were The Hearts from Newport. They sound like The Killers. Oh my god, do they sound like The Killers. Second album-era Killers, with a touch more 80s thrown in for good measure. One of their songs seems to steal the melody of Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera. Clearly very good musicians with a very clearly defined sound, but with an excitement level only everso slightly higher than a magnolia-painted wall.

As for Teleman, well musically they sound a little more humble than The Hearts, but their often-understated pop can still hook you and have you humming their songs out loud without warning. Both albums have some splendid tunes on them, and it seems for their set they decided to play the best tracks from both.

While MrsRobster thought the sound was a little bass-heavy in places, the sound was far better than the last show I saw at the Globe. If anything, I thought it was just a tad quiet. Which kind of sums Teleman up really - nothing overblown, nothing unnecessary. No gimmicks, no glam, no bombast. Just bloody good tunes, one after another for an hour or so. They played MrsRobster's fave songs (Fall In Time and Tangerine), and left mine right to the end. In fact, their two-song encore seemed to epitomise what you get from Teleman - the melancholic debut single Cristina, followed by the outrageously catchy Glory Hallelujah from the current album.

While Teleman may not fill Wembley Stadium or headline Glastonbury, if you pay attention you'll realise what a good band they are. It's difficult to write such consistently good songs and carry them off in such a charmingly unassuming manner. If, however, you choose to go to their gig and talk incessantly like a total nobrot, you will never realise this and forever remain a total nobrot.

MrsRobster's verdict: On The Hearts - "Everything sounds like the songs at the end of 80s movies." This is pretty much EXACTLY what they sound like. After she said that, all I could see in my head were images of Michael J. Fox, Molly Ringwald and Corey Feldman. On Teleman - "They were good. I don't have anything insightful to say about them though." Well, sometimes "They were good" is enough. She was taken by a couple near the front though who spent the set enthusiastically bopping about and singing all the songs to each other: "They were really cute."



  1. Of course the irony is that if Teleman were to suddenly make it big and become wildly famous, your two chatty twerps would probably dine out on stories of how they saw the band when they still played really small venues, before anyone else liked them. It's always a tough call in these situations, as to confront incessant talkers risks exacerbating the problem. Well done to your burly comrade for handling the matter so delicately. Mind you, it probably helped that he was burly.
    I saw Teleman earlier this year and your excellent review summed up many of my own feelings about the band.

  2. i like them – especially their songs 'not in control' and 'drop out' where they kind of hit a krautrock-ish groove – that's when i find them most interesting... everything controlled but spacey