NODZZZ and Teen SheikhsEdit this event
If history's repetitious nature is to be believed, then times of recession seem to trigger a resurgence in the musical underground. The eighties may have been the decade most style experts choose to disassociate themselves with but rising inflation coupled with high unemployment that book-ended its start and finish also gave birth to some of the most influential sounds conjured up before or after, whether it be minimalist post-punk, genre-crossing dance music or US lo-fi rock that became the phenomenon also known as grunge. Whisper it quietly but there's a similar faction emerging on both sides of the Atlantic where the UK bands seem to take inspiration from their Stateside cousins and vice versa.
Take Brighton's Teen Sheikhs for example. Their succulent brattish noise pop is a joy to behold, sounding like a kingsized mash-up at various intervals of early (Captain-era) Idlewild, Sarah Records darlings Action Painting! and erstwhile beatniks Moho*bisho*pi. The three-piece bludgeon their way through a shambolic set that is littered with false starts, detuned instruments and a ruptured snare drum that is tossed at some poor unsuspecting girl in the front row as the final song peters out.
Local four-piece Lovvers don't need any introductions here. Instead, their all new, gimmick free, heads down punk rock is an incendiary treat that perfectly illustrates how far they've progressed between last year's Think and current long player Go Go Go Girls. Gone are the days where literally anything could and usually did happen on and off stage, sometimes causing the music to become secondary. Frontman Shaun Hencher now also sports a guitar that whilst not fully encapsulating the band as genuine muso icons yet, at least ensures ditties such as 'OCD Go Go Girls' and 'Alone With A Girl' stay true to their originally intended states, and in the process reveal Lovvers to be a very credible, albeit lo-fidelity, pop band.
Headline act Nodzzz may be something of a rare commodity at the minute in that, despite hailing from San Francisco, they blatantly take their inspiration from quintessential English groups such as The Fall and Television Personalities. Nevertheless, their lets-try-and-cram-as-many-songs-into-thirty-minutes-as-we-possibly-can set is a delightful climax to the evening. Interspersed with a stand-up comedy show all of its own, Sean Presley and Anthony Atlas swapping anecdotes with each other and the audience about bacon sandwiches ("Bap? What's a "Bap"?"), Bruce Springsteen ("Fuck Nebraska!") and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club ("Nottingham? Is that next to Tottingham where the Hotspurs play?"), at times almost forgetting the fact they've a bunch of tunes to play as well. When they do deliver, the likes of 'Controlled Karaoke', 'Simple Song' and 'City Has No Eyes' are a sprightly breath of fresh air that cause sporadic bouts of dancing and ungainly bulbs of sweat to break out all around. As the cries of "More!" greet their final note, you get the impression from Nodzzz's collective faces that they probably would participate a little longer if only they hadn't filled the last half hour with their entire catalogue of output. Ah well, until the next time...
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