Crushing Death & Grief presents:
QUACK QUACK + FAIR OHS + MAN FROM URANUS
Sun 31st Jan @ The Portland Arms, Cambridge
£5, doors 7:30pm
What is Quack Quack? A Yorkshire-based party-prog, post-jazz, guitar-free, polyrythmic instrumental rocking trio. They take simple, cheap keyboard melodies, add driving bass and then pulsing pan-continental drums. A bit like Can jamming with John Shuttleworth. Other comparisons could be made with Africa 70, Trans Am, Led Zep, the JBs, Stereolab and Holy Fuck. It’s pretty tricky to pin them down into any place musically as there’s clear influence from 60s and 70s jazz, dub, funk, DIY and improv rock, afrobeat, krautrock, prog, disco and electronic music, but they end somewhere miles away from any of these forms. They avoid the ‘quiet-loud’ clichés of a lot of instrumental rock music, instead pivoting their tunes around subtle shifts in emphasis and feel or sudden escapades into an illogical but utterly exhilarating musical conclusion. Throughout it all there is a consistent sense of foot-tapping savvy and, above all, F-U-N.
Formed in 2005, Quack Quack are bassist Stu Bannister, drumming keyboardist Richard Morris (also of Chops, Two Minute Noodles and Declining Winter) and drumming drummer Neil Turpin (also of Bilge Pump), a chap who made Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale “… feel like a one-trick pony”. A mini-album and a 7? have been released by Run Of The Mill, and a new album should be out around the time of this gig.They are more of a live band, though, leaving no leg knowingly unjigged, and rock so hard that last time I saw them one of them passed out mid-set. Bring your dancing shoes and smelling salts.
It seems that a handful of bands of late have been having a go at mixing punk or indie rock with various forms of African pop. For instance, Vampire Weekend made a pig’s ear of it, whilst Extra Golden have been making some amazing music. Peers of folks such as Graffiti Island, Male Bonding and Spectrals, London lads Fair Ohs fall totally into the latter camp. After starting off playing garage and hardcore they got bored and sort-of went Afrobeat, shifting the rhythms and adding Jit guitar lines to lo-fi hits, and possibly squeezing in some kind of Tropicalia influence too. They’ve put out a bunch of tapes 7?s (mostly splits and compilations with cool kids like Male Bonding, The Hipshakes, Hygiene and Ty Segall), but they all seem to be sold out. A new 7? is out on Sex Is Disgusting Records, featuring two nuggets of floor-filling positive vibes. At last, the kids are listening to “Graceland”.
MAN FROM URANUS
Digital and analogue improvised transmissions from moonbase Cambridge, channelling the spirits of Sun Ra, Joe Meek, Chick Corea, Kid606 and Delia Derbyshire.