Call me Russ L

The first of two gigs at The Hare & Hounds towards the end of March

Posted in Music by Russ L on 8 April, 2008

Right. I’m ‘behind’ on my quasi-autistic compulsion to write about every event I go to, and have been since January now. I’m only ever two or three things behind, but whenever I do one I go to something else soon after. I’m going to make a bit of effort and get up to date with this over the next couple of days, but you know what that means. Quick’n’crap posts a-go-go.

The thought occurs that more posts on here have been of the “quick’n’crap” variety than haven’t of late, but since the normal ones are only marginally less quick and marginally less crap I don’t suppose that’ll make much difference to anyone.

Anyway, as I was saying before you distracted me, Sunday the 23rd o’March meant heading Hare & Hounds-wards for The Curate’s Egg’s Enablers gig. In the name of not boring y’all further with stuff you’ve read from me before (I doubt anyone’ll actually be here if they have a problem with boredom or me repeating myself, but nevertheless) I will chant the mantra: Don’t moan, don’t moan, don’t moan…

Tempting as it was to almost blunder straight into an Ad Hominem fallacy, this was possibly the best time that I’ve seen openers Mills And Boon. The ‘Beefheart’ thing really shone through at this gig – always present, but strong here. Scrangly (yes, scrangly) guitar abounded, and the unusual structures of the songs seemed even more engaging than usual. Also, counting in with “One, two, three, fourfivesixseveneightGOOOO~!” is always worth doing.

(Don’t moan, don’t moan, don’t moan…)

The Courtesy Group were typically good. Al was wearing a smock that buttoned up the front. This is important, I feel. They’re another band I’ve written about so many times before that I have nothing else to say, but they’re ace. Post-punk with poetry, a bit The Fall but not really and a bit Beefheart but not really. Really love the guitar bit in that one song they do. You know, that one with the really loveable guitar bit.

(Don’t moan, don’t moan, don’t moan…)

Neither of the International Touring Headlinerz that I’ll be speaking of during both this post and the next have a lot in common sonically, but they do share the common facet of being bands at which you could throw completely apposite adjectives all day and never come any closer to describing them. This is usually a good sign in my eyes, and so it goes with Enablers. The phrase ‘post rock’ will upset the ears of many who are sick of the trend of recent years, I realise, but it’s about the most approximate existing style. No mere quiet then loud merchants, though, musically Enablers offer peaks and troughs that feel genuinely emotive to me. “Slint, saturated with smoke and whiskey” seems poor but will have to do. Even more important than this is frontman and spoken-word vocalist Pete Simonelli, intoning his affecting words in his deep sonorous voice. He’s like a skinny performance poet channelling Cave and Bukowski, and really elevates this band to the level of something other.

Oh alright then, just a little moan. When the opening band on a Sunday night finishes at quarter to ten, you know it’s going to be a pain in the arse later on. I had to leave halfway through Enablers not to get back to town for my last bus home, but to get the last bus back to town so that I could get a taxi from there. I saw more than I did of the headliners at the last Curate’s Egg night I went to, but ended up paying through the nose for the privilege and once again wondering about the purpose of the exercise. I know that the people in charge have (to some extent) their hands tied, but, well. There we are.

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