Where’s day one? I have a blog but it was a bit of a incoherent blur having had a minor altercation with a cocktail of flu remedies and one too many G&Ts. I’ll put it up in a couple of years when the heat’s died down with John Robb. It’s more of a Fear and Loathing In The City piece anyway, but with prescription drugs and crap writing.
So today was by far a good day. I was all over Manchester on my fixie-bike, frequently pressing my Buddy Holly bins onto my self-regarding dickhead face.
First off was Kisses at the Castle. Painfully unhurried dreamy pop from this trio of cardigan models. I liken the experience to one big safe cardigan shopping trip with your mum. Songs weren’t bad either. I prefer loud noise and sweat so it wasn’t exactly my bag, but I can see the attraction. Definitely more of a record band than a live act. Spot Lily Allen. Try to make friends with her but she’s repulsed by my snotting and tells me to fuck off. She’s so lovely.
I’m a bit weird with laptop bands. Bands such as Worried About Satan. Anyone else feel that a gig needs to be aesthetically engaging? There’s not much you can do behind a laptop before it begins to look as though you’re enjoying your own music more than the audience. Worried About Satan bop enthusiastically like that. Very long, nondescript beat music. I like it, but it’s not engaging for me in a live setting, even while coming up on Lemsip Max Strength. Again, headphones on a train band.
I forgo D/R/U/G/S. Everyone else will cover them. Not a huge fan, and I’ve heard enough unexceptional laptop music for tonight (controversial). Plus, why are playing thrice across In The City? Really? Thrice?
I see Youth at Gullivers. Excellent. Young, broody young chaps with a collection of perfectly crafted songs. However I’ve only caught the end. Will keep an eye open for any future name changes and developments. I note that Gullivers is the kind of venue where I expect I’ll see something amazing. Any tips?
The pleasantly named Chad Valley at Soup Kitchen is the best thing so far. The guy has an amazing voice atop a collection of weird, croony, dare I say wonky pop backing. I like backing bands, but consider the hassle of having to run songs by them. For this reason what he plays is quite unique, and works in filling Soup Kitchen with an engaging sound that has passers-by stopping for glimpses through the window.
Smatka are an strange cabaret-cum-pop act. They’re not bad, audience seems a little nonplussed by the whole affair. Everyone looks around in order to gauge exactly what they should be doing. I concur.
Labyrinth Ear. Brilliant cold-wave minimal from this delightfully odd looking pair. These guys really belong in an early 80s German basement/dungeon. The tall fellow hits away at a drum pad that has that satisfyingly dull snare sound. Volume’s too low and audience murmur becomes a huge pain in the ass.
Mount Kimbie. Laptop band. I duck out early to head over to HEALTH. I’m torn between them and From the Kites of San Quentin. HEALTH are predictably amazing. Played a couple of new songs that appear to focus more on a beat you can continually move to, as opposed to frequent time changes. Big mosh and lots of smiles, except the one guy who stares in disbelief at his broken Armani glasses.
In The City Trends (For next year): Those chains that old people use to keep their glasses on at HEALTH.
My nodes are like friggin golf balls. Make of that what you will.