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- These New Puritans »
It's a funny old day for music this Saturday. Everywhere you turn, 24-hour Irish people decked in uniform-like green shirts and Guinness-branded hats are banging drums and singing along to songs they probably have no inkling as to the origin or meaning of.
Meanwhile, just over an hour ago, DiS witnessed Good Shoes and Vincent Vincent attempt to take their small club vibe onto a bigger stage and look haphazardly lost at times, almost akin to the proverbial bunny staring into ever-widening twin beams of dazzling headlights.
A hasty retreat back to the confines of a more intimate setting finds us greeted with slab upon slab of what can only be described as garish techno house, somehow dressed up as the emperor's new clothes in certain circles but quite frankly no different to the nightly fare on offer at God's Kitchen or Gatecrasher.
Thankfully, These New Puritans arrive onstage at precisely the right moment to save DiS from an unusually non-alcohol related headache and at least restore some parity to this evening's entertainment.
Already hallowed on their own East London territory for their combination of Joy Division-style minimalism and Aphex Twin-concocted beats, These New Puritans are a strange beast. They occasionally give the impression that they aren't sure what they're doing here amongst a smattering of the (in a self-proclaimed way) cool and the curious, most of whom have either seen their admittedly classy in a low-budget way video on MTV2, or at worst flicked through the pages of NME and seen the band's name staring back at them.
It's difficult at times to tell which way they want to go, as their devilish mixture of tunes intersected by harrowing, ear-splitting dins suggests they've still not truly discovered their own identity just yet. In short, tonight's set is like watching an A Level chemistry practical exam: you trust that the students know what they're doing, but somehow there is a deepening feeling that the whole thing could explode chaotically at any moment.
Of the tunes themselves, a couple do stand out head and shoulders from the rest, especially the grimy rap that closes the set over a halo of feedback and keyboard loops that eats the likes of Hadouken for breakfast in a thoroughly majestic fashion. Elsewhere, the discordant affair that is 'Chamber' is so intense and unnervingly bombastic that it wouldn't sound out of place on the Touching From A Distance soundtrack.
Still, with a show lasting little over 20 minutes, there is no chance of These New Puritans boring the pants off everyone just yet, even if the confusion emanating from the stage has transplanted itself onto the faces of many a bemused onlooker.
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