The Gossip and Sans SeracEdit this event
- 100 Club, London »
I don't know a thing about the headline act before tonight, really, (apart from what I get out of the obligatory visit to myspace, which reveals an admiration of sultry dramatics and a kinship with Les Georges Leningrad and Sleater Kinney). I do, however, know about Comanechi and I decide missing them probably wouldn't be too distressing. So we sneak away from the roulette of Oxford Street for Sans Serac, essentially a Frenchman lost in Studio 54. While his beat is a strangely slinky one - brassy with cowbell strut which keeps shy shoulders moving - it grows thin too soon. Style?>Substance. Central's not averse to heavy doses of either of those, but this really is no place for the bored chatter which ensues. It puts you ill at ease. So...wot's da goss?
The girl is fat. There’s no need to be snide and dance around it. Or p'raps, whisper it behind turned backs. At least half a live show should be for your eyes, and for The Gossip - who burn-up halfway between The Bellrays and The YYY’s for my ears - frontwoman Beth Ditto is a riot grrrl hall of mirrors. Distorted and warped, there she is, filling out the wiry modern soul o’ the O with old-house Madam burlesque – she was raised right and proper, this one, but since then she’s bent herself a bit out of shape. I’ll have no saying the weight’s a problem, though. You know she’s doubled her sweetheart ratios since she put herself on a stage. She knows this. She’s well aware of it. It’s what she does. In fact, the whole show is built around catching the audience off-guard and making them ponder, “…Would I?” Vacant eyes lay paths to the stage, stuck like a Vice feature writer lost in one of their more sombre, reflective moments. 3…5…7? Na, can’t be a 7…8?!
…And that’s an entire paragraph about her weight. Jesus Christ. I’m gonna get strung up by those people who think aesthetics really are the shallowest. But it’s justified, trust…The band actively work to create those sombre, reflective moments, especially early on in their set, knowing they'll encourage impure thoughts keeping the whole thing, inevitably, revolving around the big ‘It’. The bass moves in circles and the drums are kept to a minimum, so the whole thing just manages enough motion to wink in some pretension of depth. Then, any downbeat hush at the set's start is swooped at by swank and rush-up; blustering on about “Go on, go, go…” and then, as the set wears on, the hush condenses into sweat and you have to go on, GO. The orange sun’s been setting all day in this roadside diner so now people have more important things on their mind. Allow sex. We’ve got bigger fish to fry. Hold on. Let’s not get carried away. We’re English.
Well, she was a bit weighty, but by God! She’s got a cracking set of pipes on her. Oh and by the way, the only thing she shares with Sleater Kinney is their taste in men. Klunk. There's the spanner.
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