Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Divorce, Poino, Her Parents at The Macbeth - 19 March 2013


I’m here at the Macbeth, a lovely little venue off Hoxton Square. Ok ‘lovely’ is a relative term, but in this case I’m referring to it being brilliant for small, rowdy gigs rather than the outside appearance of the place, which looks as though it is ready for a wrecking ball.

First up are Her Parents, often described in these rarefied circles as a supergroup because the foursome comprise survivors from outfits such as Internet Forever, Stairs to Korea and Dananananaykroyd. Household names all.

The band plug in and fire off in all directions. Lead vocals are exchanged between all members and bass and guitars are thrashed and abused with gusto. It’s fast and screamy and chaotic and blows the cobwebs away. 

If the band seem initially a little constrained by the small stage they soon loosen up into a shouty, punky cacophony.

One of my colleagues mischievously observes that two of the band are so much noticeably older than the other two that they should be called ‘Our Parents’, but that is a crueller jibe than they deserve.

Her Parents are fun and fresh and the perfect way to get the party started.  

It is clear that most people are here to see indulgent math rockers Poino.

The band immediately cause me problems. I can tell that they are assured, skilled and in total mastery of what they do. I know that those who have come to see them are not disappointed.

And yet I think them soulless and dull. This is essentially the jazz rock of bands like Battles and although it may be popular with the beard stroking fraternity that dig these sounds, I just find this fiddly noodling self absorbed and nowhere near as innovative as they think they are.

It’s not them. It’s me. (But it’s them).

Poino go down like a house on fire and the venue thins out a bit before the arrival of headliners Divorce
And Divorce are utterly uncompromising, terrifying and completely brilliant.

While bassist Vickie and guitarist VSO circle the drum kit of Andy, singer Jennie is lost in the crowd. You can see occasional glimpses of a tiny form pacing back and forth, her hair in her eyes. The noise that she makes is an unholy, distorted squealing wail, like demons boiling in the pits of hell.

The noise and energy that the band generate is tremendous, a thunderous rumble of menace and malevolence interspersed with inchoate babbles of despair and anguish.

They’re a bit good.

A vicious mosh pit forms, with overweight youths crashing and bumping into each other. It’s an appropriate response.

Divorce are a band that can only exist on nights like this, in small scuzzy wonderful little venues like the Macbeth. This keeps you alive.

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