King of Cats ‘HA tape release show’ – a Brighton basement somewhere.

Posted: 26/06/2013 in Live Review
Tags: , , ,

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. Not actually a secret gig (the Facebook invite was public) but you definitely had to know it was on to go. It was advertised as a ‘basement show’. For a seaside town Brighton has a baffling obsession with basement flats and some of them are spectacularly damp and dingy. Fortunately this was quite respectable and even had a ‘sea theme’ – bits of foam cut into strangely endearing fish and tentacled things.

First up was Trust Fund, who’d come all the way from Bristol to do a solo show. Which, given there was about 30 people there and it was free, shows incredible dedication to the scene. Effectively an acoustic show he chose a big noisy electric instead (the choice of all tonights acts) and made a marvellously early emo racket which somehow managed to be both wallowing and euphoric. It was claimed at the beginning he wrote the lyrics on the train but I’m not so sure. The delivery was just too well executed.

Ides (also of lo-fi heroes Joanna Gruesome) put in a completely unignorable performance and also managed to evoke completely opposing emotions, being both welcoming and alienating at the same time. She was confessional, fragile and aggressive, but with a nervous charm. A horribly obvious but apt comparison would be Moon Pix era Cat Power, sorry. She has a 7” coming out in August. Should be excellent.

Considering it was the launch night of King of Cats new cassette, it’s now a solo show and they tapes aren’t ready. Nevermind… What we get is an incredible, high-octane 30 minute performance from frontman Max. His voice half eager child and half screaming maniac that belies his amiable exterior. The songs are amusing tales of the un-cool filled with oblique pop culture references – Marilyn Manson, Dr Strangelove. I’d call it anti-folk but the sheer amount of distortion sees away with that. The rest of the band join in for the last 2 songs and the crowd sing along and it’s a rapturous end to lovely summer evening.

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