Thursday 3 January 2013

Call of the Wyld Review of 2012

Drop Out Venus  (Dan Kendall)

Another year heedlessly hoofed into the long grass of history. So long, 2012, how will we remember you?

In January I encountered FOE twice and swiftly came to realise that Hannah Clark is a performer who can radically alter her sound as the occasion suits and that she is constantly evolving. At the Barfly, FOE were a gonzoid metal wall of sound and all the better for it. By the time I saw her again later in the year, things had changed yet again.

That Barfly gig also featured Fever Fever, who were tight and fierce and fun, but who sadly didn’t survive as a band to see the year out. Good luck to them with future projects.

February was ushered in by a scuffle in the crowd watching Charli XCX at the Lexington and wild scenes as Japanese Queen tribute band Queer tore up the Pipeline.

February also introduced me to Drop Out Venus, and everything changed thereafter.

When I first saw the band at the Roundhouse Studios, they completely side-swiped me. I wasn’t even sure that I liked them, but I knew that they were different from anything that I had seen in years. I was so intrigued that I threw away expensive tickets for another show to instead catch the band for free at the Old Blue Last a few days later. That performance turned out to be so emotionally overwhelming that even the band seemed surprised by it. And I was hooked on the exploits of Iva, Chris and Urs from then on.

I’ve followed Drop Out Venus avidly since that date and never been disappointed – whether they were playing to a handful of disinterested ten pin bowlers in Bloomsbury or terrorising an unsuspecting crowd at Somerset House who thought that they were going to get something smooth and uplifting before Charlotte Gainsbourg came on.

I think Drop Out Venus are just great. I heartily commend them to you both live and on record, with the warning that your mind might get blown as mine was.

I was happy in March to reacquaint myself with the Chapman Family, who positively seethed with anger and frustration at the Bull & Gate. This gig was also my first exposure to the new ‘witchy’ direction of Call of the Wyld faves Cold In Berlin. Maya and co could not put on a poor performance if their lives depended on it, but I must admit that I am not a wholehearted fan of their current material.

I loved Those Darlins’ at the Lexington and experienced an extraordinary show from Public Image Ltd at Heaven. Lydon and co were on top form and played for hours, John dancing and cackling like a maniac shaman.

Having enjoyed that show so much, later in the year I gathered a large group of mates to see PiL at the Forum. This time the band were listless, leaden and bad tempered. It was the biggest disappointment of 2012.

The Camden Crawl was a festival of two halves, with the Saturday very much better than the Sunday. Great performances from Mowbird, Trwbador, Antlered Man and Sauna Youth.

In 2012 I did a couple of stints at the Troxy to see returning rock royalty. Garbage and Patti Smith were both excellent, although I am not a fan of the venue.

A vintage 1234 Shoreditch included my first encounters with La Femme and Public Service Broadcasting, both of whom I saw later headlining shows in their own right. The French rockers absolutely tore the roof off the Barfly and delivered what may well be the most purely deliriously fun gig of 2012; PSB lay waste to my ears at XOYO.

I had fun with Charlotte Church at Water Rats and then saw a steaming set from Savages at Electrowerkz.

The year ended strongly with blinding performances from Polica, The Raveonettes and Dragonette.

A damn fine year and the prospect of doing it all again in 2013.

Stick around…Stay Wyld. 

No comments: