Saturday, February 10, 2007

Foals / The Ripps / Linear / Mary Luxembourg and the Black Bats Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

£4, 4 bands. Sunflower Lounge (or whoever organised this…This is Tommorrow…right…maximum respect) you are indeed spoiling us in a manner not seen since Mr Ferrero got it on with Mr Rocher. Funny venue the Sunflower Lounge. Very lounge like…which makes negotiating your way to the bar/loo a matter of politely squishing past people in a way not normally experienced at your average gig…not unpleasant though. Anyway, I’m drifting again.
Bands with long names No1 – Mary Luxembourg and the Black Bats reminded me a little of Donna and the Kebabs aka Honey Bane (no, I’m not making this up…they were a real band…late 70’s). Anyhow they released a great track called You Can Be You in 1978, a meaty slab of raw girl punk that you hardly ever hear these days. ML and the BB have similar raw energy, very DIY (they were selling cassettes…oh yes) and what I would call proper punk…not posturing, not pretending, but R – E – A – L. Liked them a lot. As I did Linear. It strikes me that Coventry is producing some pretty great bands at the moment (see also The Ripps - coming soon!) and Linear is right up there. Elements of Joy Division, Gang of Four, early Orange Juice and hints of more recent exponents of angular post punk majesty like Editors and The Rapture (well I think so and I’ve got the conch so ya boo!). Despite some microphone issues (2 were knackered, only one worked) they were a major treat and heartily recommended.

I’d seen The Ripps a fair time back and I remember being well impressed back then. They’re even better now. Drummer Rachel Butt seems on the verge of spontaneous combustion throughout the show and adds some seriously impressive non amplified vocal shouts that sort of make the sound more 3D somehow…nope…even I don’t know what I’m on about now. Let’s all join hands and contact the living again shall we? Hallelujah! Feel the spirit of da lord…come on people…feel da spirit….

Anyway (coughs nervously…no one noticed that did they. No? Good.) new single Loco is such a glorious pop punk tune that it will make Simon Cowell implode and become a black hole through which all shite music will be sucked through and banished forever leaving The Ripps to rule the earth. If it can happen, it will happen.
Foals. Foals. Foals. I’m repeating the name because you need to remember it. This is class stuff. Class as in your grandchildren will be listening to it whilst you reminisce about the days when you actually bought music on little silver discs from places called record shops. It’s dance. It’s post punk (I know I keep calling everything that, but that’s what it is…)…heck it’s a little bit disco in places. One of the standout tracks of an outstanding set, Hummer, is a bit like being hit over the head with a toffee hammer whilst playing an early 80’s arcade game. I don’t know about you but that sounds like my idea of a good night out. There’s a whole melting pot of good shit going on here, funkier than a mosquitoes tweeter and just as deadly. Foals. Foals. Foals (repeat after me ad infinitum….).

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