Saturday 5 April 2008

2008 - The Story So Far: Jan To March

Death Cigarettes are good for you
Watching the Fighting Cocks in their stockings and skirts, huddled against the cold before they go to play a single song in a purple tent in the middle of Trafalgar Square. The singer then trying vainly to get a call and response going with a small group of tourists (and us).

The absurdly high leap that the acoustic Gideon Conn makes before unexpectedly jumping into the audience.

Mad, one-eyed dancing robots. Robots In Disguise.

The singer of Asobi Seksu grabs a broken, feedbacking guitar and waves it above her head, yelling “I don’t know how to play this but it’s really cool!” The band’s version of “And Then He Kissed Me”, the distortion providing their own version of the Phil Spector Wall Of Sound.

The members of The Willowz leave the stage mid-set, leaving the drummer. Who proceeds to do a five minute excruciating solo on a kit the size of a biscuit tin.

Vampire Weekend are about halfway through their set at ULU when all the alarms go off and we have to evacuate the building. It is testimony to Esser that it is his song ‘Headlock’ that I wake up singing for the next two days.

Gradually losing the will to live during the interminable drones of Alex & Stephen at The Forum, whist watching their videos of unexplained chemical reactions.

The brute power of Big Linda, who are so loud it hurts. Not necessarily good, but deafening.

Possibly the worst looking band in the world, The $hit comprise elderly transvestites, fat rappers and a man in a kendo mask. I was trying to work out how much of their equipment was actually plugged in – possibly two microphones, and not the one used by the ‘singer’.

Death Cigarettes turn in a powerhouse performance, with the apple-cheeked singer dancing on the tables and mauling all members of the audience. I genuinely think they are my new favourite band.

As I stare into the wide eyes and gaping mouth of Mika Penetrator, guitarist with extreme Japanese noise outfit Gallhammer, I am hit violently in the throat. This later turns out to be a shattered drumstick that has flown from the hand of drummer Risa Reaper. I still have it.

I get the feeling that Black Kids are absolutely out on their feet. Their voices are completely shot. But they are still marvellous. And British crowds cannot dance to save their lives.

The Cure play for well over three hours at Wembley, even though I don’t stay anything like that long. It is like a cricket match – people wander in and out, go for food and a drink, have a chat - while the band rumble interminably on. You don’t actually have to pay them much attention.

While having a bit of a dance to 99 Red Balloons when we go to see Death Cigarettes again at Catch, one of our party attracts the attentions of an older woman. She takes some discouraging. She seems to be the mother of someone in one of the bands…

Future Of The Left are tremendously fierce at the Scala, but they just look like grumpy old men when Be Your Own PET come on and the whole place becomes a heaving moshpit of sweaty youth.

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