Saturday, February 23, 2008

XX Teens / The Courtesy Group / Magnifikatz / Betty & the ID Rainbow Digbeth Friday 22nd February 2008


WooooWoooo WooooWoooo WooooWooWooWoo...that, for the less nerdy amongst us, was the Dr Who theme tune, for tonight Kamikaze! takes us on a mind bending trip through time, space...and the back passage of The Rainbow (don't worry , all will become clear, either that or this will be the most irrelevant intro to a gig review that I've ever written...and that's saying something n'est ce pas?). What's that? The TARDIS has landed (see, I told you it would be okay)...let's open the doors and see who's there. Aha...it's Betty & the ID (not I.D...ID...as in the ego and the...). I'd not seen Betty before. Not sure which one she is, but they're a damn fine garage rock combo, with hints of Stereolab in places and psych pop noodlings in others. Vale Onslow (presumably named after that motorbike shop which was run by the same bloke for about 100 years...no seriously...he was 103 when he died) in particular blends all kinds of good stuff that makes you want to buy a vintage British motorbike, sniff magic markers and razz it down to Brighton to mash up a few Teds.

Oooh quick, here comes a Dalek, let's hop back in the TARDIS and see what else we can find (see, this ain't getting at all tiresome is it?). Hold on...we're coming in to land again. Out we get...oohh we've left the 60's behind and now we're in the 50's...best behive yourself...(seriously, I don't get paid for this you know....). Look, it's those Magnifikatz...hell yeah. Furious straight down the line rockabilly complete with bequiffed lead singer Nate and backing from the fellow Katz that's as solid as a 54 Coupe De Ville. Nice moves too, oodles of energy and muchos knee trembling. Wrap your ears around Lonesome Train (a cover of the Johnny Burnette Trio classic unless I'm very much mistaken...ha...that's got you hasn't it?) and you can just taste the rootbeer.

Right, onwards, back to the TARDIS let's set the date for the '70's. Ooooo, bit of a bumpy landing...oh bugger we've just landed on The Courtesy Group...sorry. They seem okay though, which is a good job because I love The Courtesy Group. The last time I saw them (18 months or so ago) they seemed to have a bit of a Fall kinda tinge. Now there's a nice shade of Captain Beefheart in there too. That's not to say that they sound anything like anyone or anything else. Lead singer Al is one of the most engaging frontmen in music, not just locally but anywhere. And, in guitarist Hidehiko, they've got themselves a seriously impressive musician. Preferring to spend most of his time in amongst the audience Al is as much a poet as he is a singer (in fact he has a spoken word alter ego 'Godfrey Salter and his invisible Ducks'...I once saw him scare the bejesus out of an audience at The Glee Club...brilliant). I've still yet to get grips with all of his lyrics but it makes you feel like someones taken the top off your head and mixed up your brain with a big wooden spoon. Which is, believe it or not, a very, very good thing.

Right ho, off we go again, back into the bloody TARDIS...let's set the dial for the 80's...or is it the 70's...or maybe the 90's...or the whatever the hell this decade is called. Here we are, but who's outside, oooh they look a bit scary...it's the XX Teens...not the Xerox Teens anymore...'cos Xerox didn't like them copying the name...oh the irony. The lead singer is as deadpan as they come, carefully intoning his words whilst the rest of the band make a foot twitchingly fine new wave / art rock racket all around him (the synthy bits are pretty Radiophonic Workshop in places too...just listen to For Brian Haw). Curiously the lead Teen reminded me a bit of Bob Dylan back in the early 60's...but a Bob Dylan that had hopped in our TARDIS and landed in New York in 1978...and had sex with The Ramones...and Talking Heads...at the same time. But that's probably just me. If you don't know the name XX Teens, you soon will. New single, and set highlight, 'How To Reduce The Chances Of Being a Terror Victim'...the bastard son of 'Wear Sunscreen' and 'Thou Shalt Always Kill '...is set to be one of the most naggingly catchy tunes of the year (loved the drumming bit on stage last night), hopefully giving XX Teens the exposure they deserve. So there we go. I can finally ditch the tossing TARDIS...what's that K9...you're going to do what to me with that sonic screwdriver...AAAAAGGGHHHH!!!

1 comment:

Ed Cresdee said...
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