It was certainly an interesting aesthetic choice to bound on stage topless when you’re as hairy as Stanley Brinks.
My mate remarked that he seemed to be wearing a hairy bra, but when you get past the forest on his back there is a quirky pop genius at work in the upstairs room of the Chorlton Irish Club.
Once upon a time he was called Andre and a member of French indie kids Herman Dune with his brothers, but they were far too mainstream for him so he left changing his name just as they were about to become big.
Imagine if you can a Gallic Jonathan Richman complete with chugging guitar riffs, the occasional random honk on a sax and plenty of screwball lyrics. To complete the oddness he is backed by British indie kids The Wave Pictures who play the part of the Modern Runners manfully.
With the exception of Phoenix, I think that most French indie music is rubbish, but Stanley has worked with the New York anti-folk movement. This has clearly rubbed off on him as he launched into the melancholic I Don’t Know as the Pictures try to keep him on course. Well, sort of.
Brinks tends to veer off-piste musically and lyrically, but you have to love a guy who writes a song called Make Friends With People at Work, which offers the sage advice to buddy up with your workmates before the boss fires you. I suspect Andre/Stanley might have experience of this.
His latest single Orange Juice is a prime slice of indie pop which typically Brinks throws away before taking to the dance floor during encore tune Heavy Metal for some impromptu dancing with his support act Freschard.
Stanley even drags up one of the Bop Local team, who put on this gig, to have a go on the bongos – it was that sort of show. It might have been more useful to comb his back.
There is no doubting that Brinks is talented but turning the quirky dial down from 11 might result in bigger crowds that at this sparsely-attended gig.
The next Bop Local gig is ex-Daintees frontman Martin Stephenson at Chorlton’s St Clements Church on April 5, 2014.