Last spring this guy Reuben booked an evening of bands at the venue and, although that usually means a night off for me he got me down with the line “they’re the greatest new band in London right now” or something like that.
Anyway they came on played for 15 seconds and got off. At least it seemed like the set lasted just that long because it was a blur of two scruffs upfront, rushing to and from the mics like dervishes and a banging rhythm section keeping it going.
Jaw suitably dropped, I booked them to return and set about telling people about them. The sticking point there was people kept asking me what they were like. In the excitement I’d simply forgot. It was just energy translated into decibels and it looked the real deal too.
So they came back and the same 15 second flash thing happened again.
“What do they sound like?“
“Who are their influences?”
I kept getting that and felt a bit stupid grappling for a description to satisfy journos, industry types and beer-loving Windmill regulars. I dunno. They just ROCK was about the best reply I could think of short of a lame attempt like, the best bits of grunge, garage, metal and alt.punk or some shit like that.
Gig number three at the Windmill saw some new songs and actually felt like they’d been on for maybe five minutes. Some kid came up to me and reckoned they were like Libertines vs At The Drive In, but kind of better. In December we had the venue Xmas party and the mighty Ludes headlined with Crash Convention tucked in just before them. The place was rammed and punters kept asking me how long til Ludes are on. The building anticipation was forgotten, when, without a soundcheck, Crash Convention shuffled onstage, picked up their instruments and instantly filled the room with ENERGY. The DJ punched me in excitement, cussing me for not telling him about them months before and then it suddenly seemed to be over. I checked the clock and the little gits had been on for just 18 minutes but already thoroughly slimed in sweat. Pete Kittenhead, the sound engineer, took an executive decision and refused to let them leave the stage until they did an encore (not their usual style, but, hell, it was a party).
The new kids from Elephant and Castle had arrived. At the aftershow, Chris the lead singer asked me and Kittenhead if we thought it went OK. Kittenhead whispers in my ear “You know I don’t think these guys actually realise how fucking awesome they are. I really don’t. It’s scary." Well, with the arrival of the debut single and gigs booked farther afield, more and more people will get the opportunity to express their delight at what is a truly astonishing live band. Meanwhile back at the Windmill we’re looking forward to the days when we have to bill them as a secret gig.
Talent Buyer/Pot Collector
London, SW2 5BZ