Sunday, 24 March 2013

Parquet Courts @ Audio, Brighton 23/3/13

It's been a while... let's just say we've had a few personal issues to deal with. Anyway, we've heard a lot of hype about Parquet Courts here and there, so thought it might be worth the trek down to Brighton to catch them. Audio is a great small venue, down in the basement opposite the pier. Parquet courts are NYC through and through - sounding like they've just walked straight out of CBGBs in 1977. Think a faster, punkier Televsion. Or, slightly more obscure Eleventh Dream Day. It's two minute songs - with rhythmic intros, outros and cool as hell yelped vocals. Some segue straight from one to the next in an amphetamine fuelled whirlwind that just leaves you gasping for breath. In no time at all it's all over and we all just wanted more. But there wasn't any. They're back in May for the Great Escape Festival down in Brighton and another at the 100 Club. You'd better do one of them before they get picked up and made-over. (5/5)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Unterior + Toy + Sulk + Voyeurist 5/1/12 @ hoxton Kitchen

Our 2nd night at the Artrocker New Blood festival and it's all gone a bit goth. First up two piece Voyeurist - her wailing and him doing fuck all on a guitar that's buried by the overwhelming backing tape of drums and effects. Next up Sulk, a brit-pop-a-like Oasis with a Bobby Gillespie front man. This time the vocals are more reverberated than a choir in Wookey Hole. They're watchable once, but that's it. Third on are ex Jing Jang Jong members in Toy. This is more like it. A competent racket that's mesmerising and fun. Last up, Ulterior, with a front man looking like a young Andrew Eldritch you know before they start where this ones going. It's goth all the way. They keep their set down to a rapid 20 minutes which is ideal for these boys. The kids love 'em, but the sniffer sneaks out the back. (3/5)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Underground Railroad + Creatures of Love + Black Cherry + Parties @ Hoxton Kitchen 4/1/12

What a great start to any new year - the Artrocker "New Blood" festival. Two weeks of gigs for just 10 quid the lot. This is the second night - last nights was cancelled at the last minute. First up, Parties, are tight and Walkmen-like. next, Black Cheerry are a bit too poppy to be art rock - but top marks to Pauline Black-a-like for her enthusiasm and wit. Then Creatures of Love, who are uber-goth and might become tiresome if they stuck around for more than half an hour. Their image is important to them - they've brought their own lights and strobes. They just needed a mini Stonehenge. Underground Railroad are a real treat. A cool French band that lend much to Sonic Youth. (4/5)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Luke Haines @ The Old Queens Head

Luke Haines is always up to something different. Tonight's freak show is a potted history of English wrestlers of the 70's and 80's. Yes, by that I mean Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy et al. This is a real niche and novelty market that Haines is going for here. Are we really going to care about this in 6 months time? Probably not, but for night only it's quite fun. There's an on stage presence from Kendo Nagasaki who sits silently on a sofa stage left, watching wrestling videos. There's also a plate of liver sausage sandwiches - hand made by Haines himself, which wind their way round the crowd - you need to know your wrestling for these references to work. The most touching for the sniffer was a song about Giant Haystacks and his Casio VL Tone and his inability to turn it off, despite his love of the Rock 2 rhythm.

Highlight of the evening is saved for the encore. A recital of a recipe from the Haines food blog. A recipe for rabbit stew, to be made while listening to Hawkwind. There's a Passion for both food and Hawkwind displayed here that, frankly, makes me want to try both. Plate the fuck up - yeah. (4/5)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Iceage @ Old Blue Last

Turns out this was a late nighter so I never even got to see Ice Age as the last train was calling. Early doors though we got a loud and repetitive set from Cold Pumas. They ate well worth a look as long as your ears can take the pain. There's nothing complicated going on

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Drugstore @ St Giles Church 18/8/11

So this is the Drugstore Anatomy album launch show and the tension has been building for some time, if you follow Isabelle Monteiro's twitterings. It realy has the feeling of an event - for a start the venue is a rarely (if ever) gigged church. The tickets are all hand made necklaces of a small anchor, including a pull off "vino" tab to get you a free glass of wine. So already we're feeling personally touched by the evening. When new band members strike up on stage with no sign of Monteiro you know that a dramatic entrance is on the way - she slopes down the centre ailse, seductively, bottle of wine dangling from one hand, reaching the stage with perfect timing to begin her trademark smokey vocals to Anatomy opener Sweet Chilling Girl. The sound is crystal clear and the audience spellbound into silence as they reel off some older songs with a gradually more verbal and more confident Monteiro filling in the gaps. The sense of occasion really shows on Isabelle - this really IS important. It is everything to her and we feel privileged that we are part of it too. Watching her onstage and hanging off every word is a moving experience for us - she lays her whole self out - she may as well be naked on stage at that's how intimate she can make an audience feel. Selfishly though, I never want het to be "happy" - to find her dream man, settle down. It's the unsatisfied edge she has that keeps her so compelling. But it's not all about her - the new band are integral and she even spells this out to us. You are watching a team - though there is clearly only one project manager.

Veronica Falls @ Dalston Roof Garden 17/8/11

A cold and rainy night on mid summer and only a 6 quid ticket makes it really hard to get up off the sofa. I nearly bailed on this one until the rain stopped minutes before leaving - ok let's do it. The roof garden is a cracking little venue - 5 floors up with a view actods town and some funky astroturf under foot. The main - only - band are on at 8.30 and whack out a 30 or 40 set which is actually quite wonderful. The 4 of them are as tight as hell these days and the whole event reminds me of the velvet underground live album - like you were party to an intimate club. The rhythm guitar sounds like David Gedge if he had been in the Velvets. Ok there's not much variation between songs, but we'll allow them that. The only thing lacking for Mr was a stronger lead vocal or front man. If only they could find their own Kate Jackson icon. 4/5