CapricornsEdit this event
Every few months Camden's premier dungeon becomes something of a second home to me. Last week I was shaking my rump to Q And Not U, and tonight I find myself back again, only this time it's not my rump that's shaking... it's everything.
Capricorns could topple tall buildings from afar, if the inclination took them. All it'd take would be a brief barrage of their quasi-stoner noise and that'd be that, bye bye baby. What's that on top of the rubble? The 15th floor. Holed up below Camden's miserable main thoroughfare though, the quartet display a modicum of control - after all, it'd hardly benefit themselves to bring the ceiling in (nor would the punters upstairs in the pub take too kindly to it) - but still wreak havoc with our hearing. A brief vocal contribution from a man whose name I fail to remember (but who possesses a voice completely alien to conventional singers - it's like the Predator, or_ something) points the way towards an Isis-style future, and if every show these Londoners play is akin to this one, who'd bet against them bettering the champions of controlled volume? Not I, that's for sure. What they _must do is get some recorded material out, and pronto.
Jesu fill the middle slot on the bill, but judging by the crowded bar area, they're hardly the band du jour. That'll be instrumental metal-machines Pelican, a band who don't so much swallow you whole as their goofy looking bird namesake would, but pummel you into little tiny pieces with a relentless and ever-growing wall of bass-heavy noise. Complaints flicker around the crowd - "It's not loud enough!" "Turn it up!" - but from where I'm standing (under one of those painful UV lighting strips) it's just fine. Feeling somewhat reserved (and not a little exposed under such lighting), I try to fight the urge to nod my head slowly and rhythmically, but fail miserably. There's just no ignoring this outfit, they're that good. Conversation is impossible. The music gatecrashes your senses like a Trojan Horse, striking from behind fortifications that you'd previously figured would hold. On paper they're ordinary, admittedly, but in the flesh they're mesmerising, weaving intricate guitar passages to bombastic drums that sound like a battering ram on the doors of Jurassic Park. Casting them aside as just another loud rock act without the guts to sing is ridiculous - Pelican are masters of their art, and their art is noise. Ceiling intact, it's a job well done come closing time, a last bell we can't hear due to the intense ringing in our ears. Not loud enough? You guys are suckers for punishment.