Call me Russ L

Not the evening I originally expected

Posted in Music by Russ L on 24 October, 2006

The original plan for the evening of Sunday the 22nd was to go and see Tunng (one of the best bands going in this country at the moment, sez I) at The Glee Club. I’d never been there before but knew roughly whereabouts it was and thought “I’ll find it.” Well… I didn’t find it.

When faced with the choice of either further wandering in the cold or implementing Plan B, I am all about the alternative course of action. I went to the Rolo Tomassi gig at Scruffy Murphy’s instead.

“Young ‘uns – and lots of ’em!” was my initial thought upon arriving. Ah well. Would they indulge in the typical assortment of annoying behaviour? Yes, of course they bloody would. Bah. I wasn’t the only one that thought so, either.

I couldn’t recall who else was supposed to be on the bill, and it turned out that I’d missed the first band and that Bee Stung Lips (featuring members and ex-members of practically every other local band who has ever existed) were up next. They were wild. Screamy, shredding rock ‘n’ roll, (very) distantly Jesus Lizard-ish (I know there’s an obvious reference point for them but I can’t quite put my finger on who), overflowing with energy. Definitely a band to see again.

Taking the ‘Crap Band Name Of The Year So Far’ award in a walk despite some stiff competition, next we had Fuck Buttons. They were good in spite of that, though. Roughly speaking it was a game of two halves – noise feedbacky frequency bits, which were moderately effective but more-or-less just what all the others of this type do, but also some rhythmic, percussive, tribal-ish bits. These were where the wonder walked. The part where it all dropped out apart from a beat coming from the electronics, the one lad playing the drum (singular) and the other dancing, stamping his feet and vocalising in a high-pitched fashion that recalled a Moomin trying to jazz-scat while in agonising pain was hypnotic and absorbing, with a ritualistic sort of feel about it. Really, really amazing to see and hear.

I Was A Cub Scout were next and a surprise, even given the relative variation across the bill – they were a slightly noisier than average indie-pop band. Ok-ish songs for the most part, with one epic baggy-ish number (starting with a cool swirly keyboard bit) sounding excellent and far above the rest. Probably the least of the four bands I saw but there were still things to like about them. Especially that one song.

Rolo Tomassi were amazing, even better than the last time I saw them. Their music could so easily step over a line into wacky kerrazy crapola, but… it doesn’t. They wield a thousand different disparate elements into songs, controlling and directing the chaos to spectacular effect. Their wipe-‘em-out grind bits are as equally effective as their grooving bits and ethereal bits, too, which seems to be quite rare of late. Go and see ‘em (they also have a CD out on Holy Roar that’s definitely worth you buying).

It all got more comical still when the young ‘uns burst out into moshing during Rolo T’s set. The soundman (apparently also the manager) didn’t like this, and (in between throwing people out) stomped onto the stage and seized the microphone to issue a stern warning. Although I have mixed feelings about this all (this was probably the least annoying expression of youthful exuberance that took place all evening), it was incredibly amusing to see him stand at the end of the bar surveying the crowd with a furrowed brow, watching for the precise moment where ‘dancing’ became ‘moshing’. That lad just ruffled that other one’s hair – is that an unacceptable degree of physical contact? It was like some kind of alternative universe version of a teacher chaperoning a school disco.

~ Russ L, reflecting on the fact that if we choose to see this as a warm-up for Goodfaff then my tiredness the following day does not bode well.


One Response

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  1. srboisvert said, on 24 October, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Too bad you didn’t find the glee club. It is a pretty good venue for mellow sit down and enjoy music. It’s in the upper level of theArcadian.


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