Pet Sounds @ The Buffalo Bar, 23rd Feb with Barringtone (ex-Clor), The Woe Betides and 2 Hot 2 Sweat
Pet Sounds returns with more animal themed fun and frolics, some beastly live bands, a zoologically flavoured quiz, and the chance to show your mammalian (or insectoid, or whatever genus you consider groovy) moves on the dancefloor with our wild disco.
Win prizes for the best animal fancy dress costume and winning our animal quiz!
Doors 8PM. £5.
We have three tiptop musical happenings on the evening too, read the lengthy discourse below or just click the links to let your ears do the work. Suffice to say we are particularly delighted to have Barry Dobbin of Clor's new project as Clor's debut (and only) album is a massive favourite chez Pet Sounds.
When, prior to the release of their second album, Barry Dobbin quit Clor (not, as was reported, due to “musical differences” but because of a hamstring injury), fans thought he was crazy. “You’re crazy,” they said. “As quixotic frontman, you’ve steered this band of gifted reprobates to the brink of national recognition by uniting pop and avant-garde in a way we never thought possible. You can’t desert us now.” “I can, and I am,” said Mr. Dobbin to a scrum of disbelieving journalists as he boarded a plane bound for the Virgin Islands in the summer of 2006. “I will never forget the tap of his steel crutch on the boarding stairs,” wrote one commentator. “The last note he ever played on British soil.”
He spoke too soon. It’s my privilege to be the bearer of the best news to hit the music industry since the digital remastering of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia: Barry Dobbin is back. Thanks to medical care provided by Sir Branson Richards, his condition has stabilised and he now performs – with the aid of an amanuensis – alongside Connan Coolidge and Boomer Opperman under the name of Barringtone, delivering his ludic observations on anything from municipal architecture to animal husbandry from the confines of his customised oxygen tent, in a style reminiscent of Brian Eno, Todd Rundgren, Devo, Pavement and with respectful nods to contemporary acts such as Ariel Pink, Palace Music and Deerhoof .
Barringtone’s forthcoming debut single 'Snake In The Grass' addresses the theme of nature – which the band see as central to the development of all forms of terrestrial life. When I asked them to provide details of their latest composition, they told me to expect “a stormy, unhinged tsunami that wants to teach everyone a lesson....and it sure learned us”. I confess I have no idea what these words mean – though one can only hope the notion of a snake in the grass is a reference to Virgil.
The Woe Betides:
One dark night in the dingy upstairs of a London pub, Grundy le Zimbra and Simon Mastrantone conducted an experiment in harmony, handclaps and distortion. By flickering candlelight something melodious and monstrous was created, a handful of spectators the only witnesses to the birth of the beast.
With the echoes of that sinister evening still in the air, the pair stomped and clapped their way around the country, bonding over a love of grunge and ghosts. The pair poured their hearts and limited resources into the Play Dead EP: a collection of four ‘ramshackle tidbits’, wrapped in hand-made sleeves, showcasing their trademark blend of lo-fi experimentalism and pop sensibility. It soon sold out, garnering a wealth of praise and attracting – siren-like – the attentions of the feral Colonel Sexlife. With him, the band metamorphosed. Now a three-piece, The Woe Betides tripled their touring efforts and unleashed an instrument-swapping, energy-soaked mixture of crunch, pop and electronica at whichever haunted house they lighted upon.
Along the way, the band were embraced by the House of Strange: a collective, a band and most importantly a recording studio. It was there they began to piece together their first album, co-producing with Head of the Household, Ash Gardner, whose experience behind the desk with everyone from Three Trapped Tigers to Mumford and Sons to Stricken City lent focus to the band’s lofty ideas.
The sessions initially produced two singles: the relentless wall-of-sound of ‘NatWest Tower’ and the wry, Cuomo-esque ‘Sylvia’ (the latter being picked up by BBC6 and XFM along the way). Yet these two songs only hint at the scope of the final album. Never Sleep retains The Woe Betides’ characteristic love of melody and harmony, but is altogether more ambitious, bombastic and louder than their earlier output. Using every tool they could beg, borrow or steal, the band have peppered each song with rusty pianos, dusty organs, tired mellotrons, found percussion and their old friend: the trusty handclap.
Though more adventurous in spirit, the ten songs on Never Sleep remain deceptively simple. New single ‘This Head, This Heart’ condenses all that the album has to offer in a tidy three-and-a-half minute package of bizarre squelchy beats, gnarled fuzzy bass and aggressive down-tuned guitars. The beast has grown up, but at its core beats a heart full of harmony, handclaps and distortion.
2 Hot 2 Sweat:
2 Hot 2 Sweat are Matt Sweat and Mia Sweat. They’ve been making sweet music together since 2007, when they bumped into each other in a sweaty Norwich nightclub. Matt Sweat has previous for crimes against music with the likes of Coin-Op, Crest, The Aprons, Cortez and The Matthew Project. He likes loud guitars and lush harmonies. Mia Sweat’s previous experience involves dancing round her bedroom belting out PJ Harvey songs. She likes bleeps, shouting and choreographed dance routines.
With three singles, 2010’s mini album RaRaRaRaRaRA!, appearances at the BBC Electric Proms and Latitude Festival and a Radio One session for lovely Welshman Huw Stephens under their belts, the ‘Sweat are on a mission to make 2011 their biggest, and sweatiest year yet. There’s the new album, which sees the band head in a more danceable direction, plans to take their legendary Pet Sounds clubnight on the road, and a smattering of festival appearances. They’re also hoping to take their message overseas for the first time, with a US tour.
With radio play from Radio One, 6Music, XFM and Dandelion Radio’s alternative DJs, rave reviews from the likes of Artrocker and The Fly, and a growing army of SweatFans the band aren’t short of admirers. Next up – they want you.
''Absolutely brilliant, sounds wonderful’’ - Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1
"You can always count on NROne Records for something interesting and Karmarama by 2 Hot 2 Sweat is just that." - Tom Robinson, BBC6Music
‘Those bemoaning the absence of Tigerforce, LeTigre or inaccessibility of Deathset, look no further than the punk-pop tunes landing as abrasive as Yeah Yeah Yeahs but danceable as CSS…’ - Artrocker Magazine
‘Rapid, bustling, completely infectious indie electropop excellence…and they’re just as lovely live.’ - William Ravenscroft
‘Boy girl two-piece twin set electro acoustic disco twee dirty bitchslap mash-up pretty little synthy melodic pounding off key off colour pop music…Yes please!’ - The Fly
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