This was a gig of three monster bands that don’t warrant comparisons. I cannot tell you what any of them are like. That may well be a gap in my knowledge but it really doesn’t matter. A refreshing change from singer songwriters with twinkly guitars and sincere heartfelt songs about plastic free living, foraged licks and swimming in the sea, this was a proper assault on the senses and sensibilities. If you are of a nervous or easily offended disposition, hate loud sound or are not inclined to freak the fuck out, don’t go..
Southampton’s stout were a shocking opener in the best (and loudest) way – no-one has fucked with my heart rhythm like that for quite some time. Self-listed as post punk hardcore alternative something, their energy, effrontery and discord was initially repellent for a harmonious soul such as myself but it didn’t/couldn’t last. Andy mccolm’s delivery and physical percussive punctuation turned the wall of dystopian sound from barrier to enticement and compulsion. Set the tone of the evening brilliantly and yet… not.
Next up the Brighton contingent for the eve starting with LibraLibra. In many respects, words fail me. They are so much more than the sum of their most excellent parts, again courting the edge of dystopia and musical confusion, big tribal rhythms, defiantly melodic structures and Beth – force, freak, femme phenomenal. Such an unerring, challenging performance style and chameleon vocals. If anything comes to mind, it is the dis-ease that I experienced when first encountering Moloko’s Roisin Murphy (early albums) but even then, that’s not it. Thoroughly engaging set from start to finish.
CLT-DRP… I don’t know quite where to start. I didn’t come to this gig cold, having seen them at the joiners the previous January. The impression from that first experience has not diminished. Quite simply, a three piece – guitar, drums, vocals. Nothing complex there, right?! Bar the sizeable pedal board wielded by Scott Reynolds (science of eight limbs & LibraLibra) that creates more layers of sounds than seem possible to my mere mortal ear, the relentless rhythmic attack from Daphne whose energy is compelling viewing and the utter conviction and brutal placement of the vocals. the band’s premise is admirable enough before you even arrive at the sound and lyrical onslaught. Annie’s vocals range from screamo to opera with what appears to be complete ease and confidence, both for content and sound and creates a frenzied narrative that I think many women will relate to and will leave others mystified and shocked. Where it leaves the men… who cares! The message is clear: We will have the sex we want, how we want it, when we want it and, if that is not ok with you, fuck you – not interested in your shit! I am jealous. To have been that self possessed in my twenties about my sexuality… ah well!
Riveting, brutal performances from all three bands but the overriding sensibility of the eve was unashamedly female-centric and empowering – no playing patriarchal ‘ball’ here, no holding anything back or in, including brains and bellies. A beautiful battle cry of a night.
By Vix Hobbs (Photos: Guy Smallman)