Dignan Porch and TrogonsEdit this event
Having been born and raised in the less than salubrious confines of Mansfield and spent several years flitting around some of Nottingham's more gun-friendly suburbs, it would be fair to say there's little that would shock yours truly about England's green and pleasant land. However, having spent less than fifteen minutes in the notorious capital domain of Brixton, we've already been followed, approached and eyed up by several unsavoury looking characters of questionable intention. Even the venue itself, as homely as it may be on the inside, has its own way of dealing with security; a vicious looking Rottweiler chained on the first floor roof, its larger than life demeanour and frenzied growl surely persuading any prospective intruder to think twice before entering The Windmill and its adjoining premises without permission.
For anyone that's never been to The Windmill, its layout resembles something from the 1970s rather than a renowned music venue, the stage set in the top left hand corner almost completely out of view to any unsuspecting traveller arriving here for the first time. Nevertheless, despite a lack of clearly defined vantage points, the sound system is second to none, which is just as well considering tonight's headliners, potentially the second coming of Total Sonic Annihilation.
Opener Winston Echo seems strangely out of place amidst such noise-infused, garage reared company. Not that there's too much wrong with his upbeat folk'n'roll, except the fact it would be better appreciated on a more musically appropriate billing than this. Trogons fare better, much better in fact. Led by Gemma Fleet, last seen playing in Kasms, the quartet could be described as something of a lo-fi supergroup with various members having served time both past and present in the likes of Spin Spin The Dogs, The Human Race and Betty & The Werewolves. While their sound borrows distinctly from the Pebbles era of garage punk, there's a pop-fuelled undercurrent trying to burst out that transforms the likes of 'Rare Earth Metals' and forthcoming single 'Contina' into frenetic gems albeit veering towards the discordant rather than cleancut variety.
Next up, Dignan Porch fare equally well. With a set split almost 50-50 between highlights from last year's excellent yet criminally ignored Tendrils long player and forthcoming EP Deluded, the London five-piece, centered around the two Walsh brothers Joe and Sam, play a variant of breezy, fuzz-infused lo-fi punk that gives many of their US contemporaries a serious run for the money, hence the reason why Captured Tracks got the band signed up before anyone else. 'Flame' and 'Yards' set the scene instinctively, while the charming 'We Sat On A Hill' and prophetic 'Like It Was Again' demonstrate an awkward charm severely lacking on the homegrown independent scene of late.
Ever since debut long player Sports announced its arrival in extremely loud fashion last October DiS has been waiting for the opportunity to see (and hear) its creators perform in the flesh. With several pedal boards that Oliver Ackermann or Kevin Shields would probably steal for, it's easy to understand why self-proclaimed purveyors of industrial noise Weekend could prove to be a soundman's nightmare were it not for the fact they're actually highly accomplished musicians to boot. During soundcheck they perform renditions of both New Order's 'Age Of Consent' and Green Day's 'Long View' respectively, demonstrating they're a far more eclectic proposition than just shoegaze revivalists which some (not this) publications have them unfairly tagged as. Guitarist Kevin Johnson and bass player Shaun Durkan cut imposing yet aloof figures, each taking it in turns to assume main vocal responsibilities throughout. While the likes of 'Coma Summer' and 'Youth Haunts' border on A Place To Bury Strangers territory, the more refined likes of 'End Class' and 'Veil' highlight the debt their sound owes to the likes of Joy Division and The Sound, Durkan's bass style eerily reminiscent of a certain Peter Hook in dispatches. Add the tornado-like drum patterns thrown by Abe Pedroza and there's a tenacious ferocity about Weekend at odds with the genre they've become assigned to. Although still in their infant stages both as a band and live performers, the future looks distinctly rosy for Weekend and their next excursion to British shores this April is already an eagerly awaited prospect of mouth-watering proportions.