GDFAF #8: Enablers / Last Of The Real Hardmen (3/11/6)
Well, we’re more than halfway through. Number eight was one of the ones I was most looking forward to: Enablers (who I missed last time they came over here) at The Hare And Hounds, which is a venue I like a lot (having as it does a nicely atmospheric gig room and an upstairs bar that sells tins of Carlsberg for a pound a throw). In addition to this, I had a feeling (which turned out to be true) that this would be the occasion upon I which I finally got to meet that wise seer Pete Ashton, without the imagination of whom this GDFAF business would never have begun. In a two-for-the-price-of-one meet-the-bloggers offer, I also met Jez. Top geezers the both of ‘em.
I was informed by Lisa Thor On The Door upon arriving that our originally scheduled openers The Arm had dropped out, which was a shame. Last Of The Real Hardmen thusly became the openers of a two band bill, and God be damned if they don’t have the best band name I’ve heard in a good while. They don’t look like the sort of people it applies to, but then again you never know. It’s the quiet ones you have to watch. Their music, alas, was less than the sum of its parts – ambient drone/gentle feedback business with a bit of definable guitar and drums over the top, and lots of clever little ideas (the drummer scraping things against his drums rather than just playing them percussively, for example) that somehow didn’t come together to form anything interesting.
Enablers, conversely, bring it all together perfectly. The central point of note whenever anyone talks about them will always be Man With The Microphone Pete Simonelli, he of the deeply intoned poetry. Naturally, his voice and words are captivating, but what I didn’t expect was a physical presence not a million miles from that of Nick Cave – his movements in particular are uncannily similar, as he jerks and contorts from one side of the stage to the other.
Let us not forget the music, though (which would be easy in theory, although not if you were actually there) – Slint, if you want a point of comparison, although I definitely see Enablers as being the greater band. He sheer focussed power they wield at one moment elides oh-so naturally into a quiet, menacing jangle the next, never failing to create a rich and captivating mood.
Best band so far. Will they be topped over the next six nights? Time will tell.
~ Russ L, very sad that he missed ‘em last time.