The Moldy Peaches
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- The Moldy Peaches »
This was The Moldy Peaches first ever British show, on the lead-in to their tour supporting The Strokes.
For those who haven’t yet heard of them, *The Moldy Peaches * are the living, breathing embodiment of lo-fi. The album sounds almost as if it was recorded live into a tape recorder, which is as it should be. They describe themselves as ‘anti-folk’, which is quite fitting. A lot of the music is quite folky, albeit in a rockin’ kinda way, but in lieu of a social or political agenda, they sing about hamburgers, porn and crack. They are also a total New York band. It would be wrong to dismiss them as a novelty act with a Calvin Johnson fetish though, as a lot of the songs are extremely catchy.
Although there is other instrumentation of the album, tonight it was simply Adam on Acoustic, and Kimya instrumentless. You get the feeling that most of the songs were written like this in the first place, and as such they do fine in such a setting.
An admission though: The Barfly was completely packed, and being short I couldn’t see a thing. I’m guessing Kimya was wearing her rabbit suit, as I glimpsed the ears, and I’ve got no idea what adam was wearing, so if anyone wants to comment on the visual aspect, please do in the ‘comments’ section (thanks!).
They opened with 'Lucky Number 9', the opening line of "Indie boys are neurotic" taking on extra relevance in a room full of scenesters, radio and industry types and a large contingent of kids with bags designed for the safe carriage of rare 12 inches.
Despite being jet-lagged and having been up for 24 hours, Adam and Kimya were both pretty relaxed and joky, with Adam clearly taking great pleasure in inflicting on us godawful guitar solos wherever he could fit in.
Mid-way through the set, they introduced a new song, which was excellent, extremely memorable and upbeat. Whereas usually a new song in a set is a downpoint given its unfamiliarity, in this case quite a few people in the crowd were singing along by the final chorus, although this could be because it isn’t in any way different from anything on the LP, and thus didn’t really require much effort.
The (intentional?) amateurism (e.g. Adam getting the chords wrong in 'Lucky Number 9', breaking a string and spending 5 minutes fixing it, those guitar solos…) was cute, and it was refreshing to see such an unembarrassed lack of professionalism, but there was a slight feeling of being swept along by media hype. Like I said, the laid-back atmosphere was refreshing, but does getting the chords wrong or breaking a string really merit applause?
But when the Peaches have songs like 'Steak For Chicken' and the glorious 'Who’s got The Crack?', who cares? When they take off other musical genres like rap or folk, it seems more like tribute than pastiche, and despite all that has been made of their scatological lyrics, the overall impression is one of charm rather than cold-eyed cynicism.
They close their half-hour set with 'Nothing Came Out' one of the sweetest, saddest narrations of an awkward crush in a long time. Because despite the knowingness and biting sarcasm of some of their lyrics, The Moldy Peaches seem still to be awkward teenagers, wanting to watch cartoons and ride bikes, which is what saves them in the end from the dreaded novelty tag.
So all together now: "PUT YR MOMMA IN A HEADLOCK BAYBEE, AND DO IT RIGHT!"
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