Little gig journeys round London’s underground. 20-24th April 2003.
20/04/03 @ The Windmill, Brixton
The Twisted AM Lounge alldayer, 2 days following the DiS alldayer of which the mind is too hazy to write about. In fact, ditto this gig too. The ubiquitous Capes are stripped to a 2-piece (no, not garage style) with Kris and Richie doing the acoustica thang, all pop harmonies and alt.country stylings. Sharko get weird and sleazy. Very entertaining. I sit with Mavis and eat sausages and drink beer, on a mission to get ‘wankered’ as they say. (Hours later: mission accomplished.) Four Day Hombre do the anthemic indierock thing well and the fact that they’re still not on the cover of every magazine is quite sad, remaining one of Britain’s best-kept (?) secrets, but it’s only a matter of time... Catch them on the first half of the Oceansize tour. Goldrush have made the Windmill their London home. There’s still no faulting them (unless your name is Fiona Fletcher). It’s very much like stepping into a pair of comfy shoes (no ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ jokes here please). ‘Counting Song’ is fast replacing ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ as their finest moment. Keep it simple, keep it sweet. Too drunk to remember what Broken Family Band and Mavis are like, but on their good days they always kick arse, so I’ll just assume the same happened tonight.
21/04/03 @ The Windmill, Brixton
The punk alldayer. Hungover, so arrived late and didn’t watch much. Metro Riots have a fire in their eyes. They WANT a reaction and they WANT the attention of their potential peers from the garage punk explosion. They strut and preen, and are a 100 times better than their demo (under an old name) showed. Promising. The Cunts are all old enough to know better and as they’re pretty much the Windmill in-house band, I can’t say anything nasty about them. ;-) Needless to say, any band made up of Rantin’ Ritchie, Larry Love and Rob ‘Got Any Fags?’ Bailey and more is going to be entertaining. They bring on a couple of “crack whores” and belt out a typical punk racket. Dedicating last song to “the greatest songwriter of the last 20 years” or words to that effect (Ian Curtis, by the way), they trash out a messy version of Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’, and there’s a nice bit of moshing and bad dancing to finish it off. Marvellous. Electric Eel Shock were always going to steal the show. The drummer attaches his sock, and off they go. All big-haired At The Drive-In rip offs, but with style. I can’t stop grinning and neither can anyone else it seems. Stupidly good. I go home, happy.
22/04/03 @ Dublin Castle, Camden
Oooooooh myyyyyyy Keane are possibly going to be quite big. This is only the second time I’ve seen them and already the songs have stuck in my head. Recognisable, instant tunes which sound big, big, BIG. The lack of guitars is disturbing (lineup here is 1 drummer, 1 keyboard player, 1 baby-faced singer with a voice similar to James Mudriczki’s) but you don’t notice it after a while. They’re either going to Do A Coldplay or release a slew of critically-acclaimed albums and never achieve nothing more than cult status. We’re hoping for the former. It’s a media and A&R whorefest for them in the tiny Dublin Castle tonight.
24/04/03 @ Bull & Gate, Kentish Town
So, it appears that in Val, Querelle have one of the best drummers currently slogging it out round toilet circuits in the UK. She is cool as fuck, as is singer Gypsy and errrr whatever the bassist’s name is (sorry). Gypsy looks like a proper malnourished rock star. The sound of the band is verging on post-rock, with a hint of good tunes rumbling in the belly, normally taking on a more hypnotic vibe with some guitar sampling, but not tonight. While enjoying a good sound (I like the Bull & Gate. One of London’s finest toilet venues all-round), Querelle still haven’t sorted their ideal set out. But it’s only been a few months since they reformed with the new lineup, so there’s plenty of time for them to catch up and kick butt. Antihero finish the night and are very competent and look quite pissed off that they aren’t able to sell out this venue yet. There’s something quite sludgy about their sound holding them back, still something not quite right about them. They play the one that goes “don’t trust the DJ” (which I presume is called ‘Don’t Trust the DJ’), which is a belter of a tune, then I’m too tired to stick it out with The Kids and retire to the bar, before trundling off to the tube.