Thursday 5 September 2013

Skinny Girl Diet and The Greasy Slicks - The Macbeth 4 September 2013

Skinny Girl Diet - Watch out world.

The properties along Hoxton Street are being gentrified. The area is a collision of council estate and bo-ho gastro pub stylishness.

The Macbeth sits defiantly somewhere between the two extremes, a relic of the past facing an uncertain future.

The first band on tonight are The Greasy Slicks. In an era where populist blues rock is seemingly exclusively the province of power duos such as Drenge or the Black Keys, this group seem positively overstaffed as a three piece unit. However, the extra player adds a depth and authenticity to their sound that leaves the others in the dust. The Slicks are much less like a cartoon and a lot closer to the 70's rock gods that they take their inspiration from.

We're firmly in Led Zeppelin, George Thorogood blues rock heaven. Protracted guitar workouts, powerful and intricate drumming and crunching riffs. I'm really impressed with them and I'm not normally a fan of this type of music. If they lose me a little during the occasional guitar noodling passages then they are not doing anything that I wouldn't have expected.  Damn good fun.

My relationship with Skinny Girl Diet has changed. They have gone from being a band that I'm pleased to see on a supporting bill to being the reason that I'm here at all tonight.

I'm increasingly coming to believe that SGD are the complete package. They are effortlessly stylish and cool (a fact picked up by others) and their stripped down, fuzzed out simplicity hits my sweet spot too.

Amelia, Delilah and Ursula gel together in a way that many other acts would envy. The three together are somehow infinitely more than the sum of their parts. Any of them individually would be the highlight of any other combo. They occasionally use the Power Puff Girl graphic in their publicity material. It fits…

SCREAM! Bassist Amelia looks like butter wouldn't melt, but steps forward to wail like a demon.

SMILE! Drummer Ursula is pretty much the happiest person ever seen on a stage. Always laughing, she's not even fazed by a major drum kit malfunction which brings the set to an unexpected halt after only a couple of numbers.

TEXT! Guitarist and de facto band leader Delilah responds to the brief hiatus not by engaging with the crowd or playing on but by becoming engrossed in her mobile phone. It is a moment that really sums up for me why I love this band - they are simultaneously fearsomely driven and urgently serious but then the façade slips and they are three young kids just having fun.

The drum kit repaired, the girls power onwards. Songs like ‘Eyes That Paralyse’ and ‘Dimethyltryptamine’  are really taking shape now and the power and energy of this band is not going to be long confined to venues such as the Macbeth. They've got a prestigious date coming up supporting Primal Scream at the Roundhouse and it will be very interesting to see how they handle the step up. I suspect Gillespie and co won't know what hit them.

Skinny Girl Diet. So much fun it’s not healthy.

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