Posts Tagged ‘Indie Rock’

King of catsLast time this reviewer saw King of Cats was in the corner of a living room. Somehow, the cordial vibe and close proximity of the audience gives Sticky Mikes that feel this evening. There is something immediately likable about KoC. Whether it’s the militant anti-fashion, the rough-around-the-edges performance or the idiosyncratic between song banter. They completely stretch the quiet/loud idiom to its logical brittle bone fragile/astonishingly anguished conclusion. Frontman Max’s screaming belongs in primal scream therapy than rather than any musical context, and pushes them far past healthy indie-rock behaviour. Their debut album is coming out “god knows when… soon”. Watch this space.

ShoppingThere are great bands out there whose influence is disproportionate to their accolade. Vanguard punk-funk monolith ESG are just that. Shopping of course, are far too naturally brilliant to be just a clone of any band, but it would seem unlikely they’d exist without them. ‘Tight’, and dare we say it ‘angular’, are adjectives every band wants lavished upon them. If you were to take those away from Shopping there would be precious little left. So all encompassing is their machine-like elegance. There are many ‘haircuts’ on stage and a cowbell. There is a worry it’s all about to get a bit hip, but the bands sheer exuberance overrides any pretentions of coolness. Bizarrely, their uncommon speed-ups and slow-downs have a country kind of twinge. Do you think they know?

PAWSPAWS are from Glasgow, Scotland. A country possibly on the brink of independence. They don’t need independence though. They are indie enough… INDIE ROCK*

A power-trio in the traditional sense. There’s no flab and no meandering in PAWS. It’s only natural to expect a band to be heavier live but this is ridiculous. Are the songs usually this fast? The drummer actually goes and lies down after the set. We get some welcome tracks from 2012s Cokefloat – seriously, how is ice cream floating in Coke a good idea? – but it’s the new tracks that really hit the mark tonight. The new material traverses pretty acoustic-ish numbers and low-slung churning sludge rock. There is a palpably excited reaction.  The album comes out on May. The band swear blind they are touring straight after. Wisdom would suggest not missing them.



So it’s now an etched in stone tradition, the Riots Not Diets valentines day ball. Like valentines day, it’s once a year, has huge potential for fun and is a perfect excuse to get wasted. Unlike valentines day, it isn’t a colossal stress, expense and unnecessary – you can, and should, be romantic all the time. And you can come here on your own.

Remember riot grrrl? That’s because it never went away. It simply never got as big as it could have. But it could. It could happen tonight? In this bizarre school disco community hall. Take it away grrrls…

Humousexual are not the prettiest ladies you’ve ever seen. They lack even the vaguest of feminine characteristics. I’m not one to judge though. It’s Brighton and you can act express yourself however you like, that’s why I live here. Humousexual – fantastic name – are what happens if you take C86 and replace the rhythm section with a hummingbird playing Neu. ALL THE TIME. Formula gets a bad rap. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. The er… ‘guys’ in the band know what they are doing, the audience loves it, stick to what you know best. Even if it’s more stripped down than an army inspection.

Big JoanieFrom the get go Big Joanie are a total indie punk charm offensive. Far too out there to pique Phil Spector’s incarcerated interests. We need to wormhole them back to the 60s to fuck shit up. More bands should act like superheroes. The set is well padded out with covers tonight but the highlight is the two chord droneathon calisthenics of TLC’s R&B classic ‘No Scrubs’. There is no conceivable way that should work. Yet it does. It encompasses everything a good cover should be. Everyone is thoroughly impressed.

Not RightFor all intents and purposes Not Right have a total car crash set tonight. Their guitarist cancelled last minute, the drums keep falling apart, surreptitious feedback and the pedals don’t work.  None of this matters a jot.  What makes their set so exhilarating to watch is the pared back rawness of it all sans the guitar and the on-going commentary by uberfemsch Ruth Pearce. Attacking every riot grrrl trope from written lipstick polemic over her torso to hyper LGB-eTc. soapboxing and a cards-down acknowledgement of middle-class guilt. There’s even a call-and-response “we’ll shout tory, you shout SCUM”. Trans-Socialist utopia beckons.


Raviolli Me AwayRavioli Me Away are a much more refined spectacle. They didn’t have spiky new wave in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, but if they did – they might have? – it would have sounded like this. With the best up-right drumming since Mo Tucker, charity shop keyboards and that microsurgery ’81 bass sound you cannot really go wrong.  And they don’t. We get a celebration of all things femme-rock from new wave to now. They even lightly drug us all in incense. It’s all in the details people. And they are far too cool and aware to start belly-dancing, thank god.