July Skies played some songs from The English Cold, their concept album about the shadow of war over the English countryside in 1939, as well as some new songs which will end up on a new album, due out next year (finances permitting). The new songs were pretty good, and I look forward to hearing the new album.
The Piano Magic set was great. They started off with I Am The Sub-Librarian, following into No Closure, and taking it from there. Think driving grooves, vocal harmonies and the odd wall of oddly melodious howling guitar. One new song they had was titled England's Always Better (as you're pulling away), which started off sounding a bit like Black Box Recorder and then went into somewhat darker Piano Magic territory; it was basically their attempt at that classic theme, the malaise-at-the-heart-of-Englishness song. As this was their 10th anniversary gig, there was a brief interruption between songs as some members of the audience presented the band with a chocolate cake (which, after the gig, was cut into slices and made available at the bar) and sang Happy Birthday. Then the band resumed, playing Password (complete with its massive buildup of an ending).