Gentle Friendly and trash kitEdit this event
They say that cymbals eat guitars, but No Age's Randy Randall isn't worried. From the second the Sub Pop-signed LA two-piece lope onstage, with matching grins and fuzzy moustaches, singer-drummer Dean Spunt's right hand's never far from his crash cymbal. And although his yelped, paranoid lyrics get pretty much swallowed, Randy's fuzzed-out guitar thrash holds its own.
It's been just under a year since No Age last hit London, and they've got a new EP (Losing Feeling) to showcase, along with new t-shirt design that you're sure to see on a couple of dozen skinny torsos at the next ATP. Most of the new material gets an airing, but to warm up the crowd, the duo launch straight into a killer 'Teen Creeps' (from last year's Nouns), its quiet-loud riff ensuring that it takes less than a minute for the first stagedivers to start jumping onto heads and for the Scala's security guards to start wishing they were working a different shift.
That last time they played here, No Age headlined a last-minute late-night show in a Camden record store, with no bouncers or bag-checks: for half the time the audience jostled with the band on the tiny stage, swiping at brightly-coloured balloons. The Scala's never gonna be that sort of night (although there's another unannounced show in a Dalston scout hut the following day that probably will be), but Randy and Dean know how to make an impersonal space feel close. Glancing at each other happily from time to time, their insane energy never flags: Dean whipping his entire upper body up and down as he drums, working the pedals not just from his ankles but from his hips. It's almost impossible to observe without wanting to slam-dance like a drunken teenager. He waves away security as members of the front row take a breather sprawled out on the edge of the stage, but admits feeling conflicted as more people start hurling themselves into the crowd: he likes people doing what they're told not to do, he says, because it's punk, but girls are getting kicked in the head.
It's this mix of non-conformism and concern that makes No Age such a likeable band (they're both vegans and champions of the all-ages movement), and their respect for their audience means they never give less than everything to their live sets. Even when it's not in a scout hut, or a library, or a grocery store, but a big old venue in N1.
photo by Tom Medwell
- In Photos: ATP Nightmare Before Christmas - Day One curated by Les Savy Fav
- In Photos: No Age @ OT 301, Amsterdam
- Good Videos for Good Friday - Videos of the Year: 1st Quarter 2011
- No Age to play two London shows, European tour
- Drowned in Sound's albums of the year 2010: 50-11
- In The City: The DiS review - Part 2 by Dom Gourlay
- In The City: The DiS Review - Part 1 by Wendy Roby
- Drowned in Sound celebrates 10 years with a 2-hour takeover of BBC 6Music