Monday 13 December 2010

Ty Segall and Dignan Porch at CAMP Basement - 11 December 2010

Ty Segall (Photo by Eric Rex)

When you imagine going to CAMP Basement for a Christmas gig, you get an image in your mind’s eye of an outrageously over-the-top grotto, staffed by flamboyant characters dressed in Santa and elf costumes.

The reality is much more mundane. It is indeed a basement and the décor (pipes, ducting and an unevenly tiled floor) would be more in keeping with an episode in the Saw franchise.

For the second gig in a row, I arrive just as the first support act is finishing. I’m getting very poor at judging when events start when it is known that there will be an early conclusion – in this case because they want to turf us out to make way for a club night.

So I see relatively little of Weird Dreams. I’ll leave it at that.

Dignan Porch are much more my can of Red Stripe. They play a perfectly acceptable guitar and keyboard brand of indie pop and have actually written some decent songs, which is always a bonus.

It is extremely warm down here in the basement, and I admire the fortitude of the band’s bass player, who is not only wearing a heavy coat, but is also swaddled in an enormous scarf. It is only at the end of the set that he can take it no more and rips his layers off. You can practically see him steaming.

Ty Segall and his band hail from San Francisco and are in thrall to classic guitar rock. They certainly blow the cobwebs away with their blend of hard riffing and yelped vocals.

The DJ has been warming us up with Firehose, Grant Hart, Jay Reatard etc and Ty Segall and co sound right at home in this company. The crowd get excited and mosh about at the front. The band take a truncated rush through Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ and the moshing erupts into stage diving and crowd surfing.

A grand time is had by all. Segall is clearly very moved by the love that he is getting from the crowd and is effusive in his thanks.

For an encore we get a massed bawl-along version of The Vibrators’ “Baby Baby Baby (Won’t You Be My Girl)”.

Then it’s all over and we are encouraged to head off into the wilds of Shoreditch.

Not perhaps a vintage night, but a fine example of a small scene enjoying itself. And I can’t get that damn Vibrators song out of my head now…

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