Tuesday 22 April 2014

Ravioli Me Away, Witching Waves, AS Ondas, Firestations, Ampline at Brixton Windmill - 18 April 2014

Witching Waves

Another Bank holiday, another opportunity to get some bands under my belt. Today, and indeed any day, the Brixton Windmill is my friend.

Today’s line-up has been put together under the name ‘Bad Friday’. It turns out to be a misleading description. There’s not much that’s subpar today.

The band who draw the short straw of being first on are ASOndas. It must be really intimidating to play in what is initially an empty space, but the sound of guitars soon draws the punters from the bar and garden.

The band are a bit nervous to start with, the guitarist unable to bring herself to make eye contact with us. 

However, it doesn’t take them long for them to settle into what is a short and spiky set. Vocals are alternated between the three band members, possibly to best effect when the tiny drummer takes over. We’re off to a promising beginning.

Firestations are a band who have refined their sound into something that approximates to a folk take on Krautrock. The music ticks along to a simple repetitive beat while the voices of Michael Cranny and Laura Copsey harmonise and complement each other.

The band starts off very arrestingly, but I find my attention starts to wander as they go on. This is mostly because I’m hungry and smell of the BBQ in the garden is beginning to waft into the room.

Ampline are probably the biggest names playing today. They’re a veteran US noise band fronted by Mike Montgomery, also known for his work with Kelley Deal in R Ring. This is a rare UK show.

The band are grey of hair and grizzled in appearance. When they blast off, they sound like Armageddon.
Theirs is a thunderous din, the guitarists crouched almost face to face as they exert their instruments to ever louder extremes. Occasionally, Montgomery lends his voice to the thrash. You can’t really hear him, but it doesn’t really matter. Ears bleed, teeth rattle.

Witching Waves are a complete contrast. The intense pop of Mark Jasper and Emma Wigham relies on great songs and a slightly peevish attitude, which adds an edge to proceedings. I like them a lot. They even manage to pull off a Kanye West cover and make it their own. I’m impressed.

It is often said that you can’t go wrong with a three piece no-wave jazz pop punk outfit that consists of three gals dressed up as US rockers KISS. It’s often said because its true. Tonight Ravioli Me Away are terrific.

Sian, Rosie and Alice pull off the very difficult trick of being serious and fun at the same time. They’re cut from the same cloth as the Slits – one foot in dub reggae and the other in contemporary issues. It doesn't feel like a lecture. It feels like a damn good night out. I dance like a dervish. An overweight dervish.

I have to bow out at this point and miss what were no doubt excellent performances from The Graphite Set, Shopping and Skinny Girl Diet.

‘Bad Friday’? Good gravy!

Warning! The audience in this features a girl in costume as Russell Brand. It is quite the most disturbing image ever committed to film.

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