acb: (indie rock)
It looks like both Camera Obscura and Broken Social Scene are sold out for tomorrow night.

There are still tickets for LCD Soundsystem on the 7th. Are they worth seeing live? In particular, are they worth £17.50 and a trip to Brixton?

And the following night, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names are playing at the Windmill.
acb: (buttons)
img_1146Last night, I rounded off the frantic week of gig-going with a visit to a night named Don't Look Down, at Barfly, to see Robots In Disguise. They were enjoyable, dancing around, mock-fighting, playing guitar and bass and singing over a backing track and visuals coming off a DVD. They were not unlike Chicks On Speed, or perhaps Le Tigre, in concept; one part crunchy rock riffs, one part danceable electronic sequences, and deliberately rough and unpolished vocals.

I can think of about 3 or 4 Melbourne bands I could see them on a bill with.
acb: (vice coolsie chat)
Tonight, I went to the Marquee Club and saw Client and Sing-Sing.

Sing-Sing, aka Emma Lush's new band, played an acoustic set. They have now grown to four members (Lisa on vocals, Emma on guitar/backing vocals, another guitarist and a cellist). They did an acoustic set only tonight, and were quite enjoyable. They reminded me a bit of Wendy Rule gigs I've seen, except without the mythology/gothy bits.

Client were the headline band. For those not in the know, they're Sarah from Dubstar's most recent band, and are roughly to Adult what Dubstar were to Saint Etienne. There were three of them. One playing bass (which was mostly inaudible over the prerecorded synth backing), one playing keyboards (on a Novation K-Station synth), and one (presumably Sarah) fronting the group. She was attired in a sharp office dress, her hair immaculately arranged, and was wearing black leather gloves to finish off the look; she looked beautiful and cold, like a replicant from Blade Runner, or possibly the computer-generated avatar of a vast, casually murderous yet PR-savvy megacorporation. Anyway, she sang into a microphone, and danced around, striking electroclash-noir-ice-queen poses and occasionally writhing against the other members of the group in a casually predatory fashion evocative of the mating habits of spiders, and occasionally flashing an almost warm smile at the audience. As mentioned, much of the music was prerecorded, though the vocals and keyboards were live; it was much like Schmoof, only with the cold electroclash aesthetic (or, as Dickon Edwards said, like a band of gay German guys only they were women). The music itself is basically the pop side of electroclash (i.e., no aimless Miss Kittin/Ellen Allien-style stream-of-consciousness rants about doing cocaine with movie stars in East Germany or whatever), done very well. Anyway, it was a most entertaining show.

At the start was one of Club AC30's regular shoegazer acts, Oppressed By The Line, a.k.a. one of the members of Sleepless doing a solo guitar/pedals/laptop/vocal performance, which had overtones of Slowdive and Ulrich Schnauss.

There are photos at my Flickr page.
acb: (beatnik)
  • Yesterday, I went to Banksy's recent exhibition, Crude Oils, at 100 Westbourne Grove. (It's on until Monday.) It basically consists of "remixed" oil paintings, as seen through his characteristically cynical sensibility; think 19th romantic landscapes with police incident notices, CCTV cameras and shackled and hooded Iraqi prisoners and such. Oh, and the gallery was crawling with live rats. I've written more about this here, and there are photos here.
  • Last night, I went to the Club AC30 gig at the Water Rats, seeing a few bands of a shoegazey stripe. I saw only part of Sleepless's set, though they were OK. Sennen were good; they sounded a bit like a cross between Season and the Underground Lovers at their most krautrocky. Then there were Malory; they're a German band who appear to have been very much influenced by Slowdive. One could probably describe them as two parts Slowdive and one part Kraftwerk (not because they're German or their use of electronics (which is sporadic) but because of the precision of their music; their drummer even plays from a click track). Finally, Ulrich Schnauss went up and played some tracks, mostly new ones. Much of his tracks seemed to be coming from a PowerBook, though he was playing melodies on a keyboard over them, and there was a female vocalist/guitarist playing along with him. It wasn't exactly rock'n'roll, but it was good. I ended up going home with pockets full of CDs.
  • The Nathan Barley DVD turned up in the post this morning, and it's well bum. Even though the booklet that comes with it is essentially a Nathan Barley-branded pisstake on Banksy. More about that in my blog.
  • This afternoon, I spent some time wandering around Canonbury/Newington Green, which is quite a pleasant area. I was taking photos of a plaque-shaped hole in a fence post when a boho-looking black dude saw me with my camera and spontaneously started striking poses. It turns out he's a bit of a local character there, a DJ and a youth worker. I suspect that that area could be the London equivalent of North Fitzroy/East Brunswick.
acb: (make coldplay history)
A package arrived in the mail today for me, containing the new EP from BAM BAM. (They're that really tight pop/rock band (they call themselves "Swank Rock") from Melbourne, who sound somewhere between Transvision Vamp, 1960s garage rock and a bit of Lush; they're fronted by Kristie Montagu, who wrote a best-selling book about op shops in Melbourne and does other cool things.) I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, though look forward to doing so.

Tonight, I went to Bethnal Green, and caught most of a band called The Kissing Time. They were enjoyable, in a post-C86/Library Records sort of way; they sounded a bit like Tugboat (mostly the vocal harmonies). A few of their songs were a bit bland and AOR-ballady; one of them sounded not unlike 1927. I'm told that this is because one of them is into Coldplay.
acb: (fey indie boy)
Last night, I went with [ profile] hazyjayne to see Belle & Sebastian play If You're Feeling Sinister at the Barbican (an oddly humanistic brutalist concrete ziggurat in the centre of London). It was brilliant; they played for almost two hours, and also played a lot of songs not on the album (including a rare live version of Electronic Renaissance). The support band was Broadcast, who were also really good, in a stylish, krautrocky and retrofuturistic vein; I'm going to see them again on Wednesday night. Anyway, there's a more detailed writeup here.

I went home with a bag full of Belle & Sebastian merch. I'm currently drinking chai out of a new "Belle & Sebastian Play If You're Feeling Sinister" mug; I also picked up the T-shirt, poster and keyring. I didn't get the book, though will get it in my next Amazon order.

September 2015

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