Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Presets / Deluka @ The Rainbow, Wednesday 2nd July 2008

Midweek Kamikaze! Why not? Especially when you've got Aussie dance superstars, The Presets hotfooting it (okay then muddyfooting it) from Glasto. Actually my chums at Kamikaze! are promoting like mad at the moment. The chances are that, if there's a 'y' in the day, they've got something cool going on. Check their MySpace and see for yourself!

Anyway. On with the show. First up Birmingham's very own Deluka and stars of something called Grand Theft Auto 4 (what was wrong with Space Invaders eh?). Laying down some darn classy indie electro rock (with a nice dance twist) they played a fine 45 minute set that drew in the crowd from the various orifices (or orifi...I do like my orifi) of the Rainbow like bees to honey. Quite a few standout tracks, one of which I thought was going to be a Mexican dance number called Icantena. Turns out it was 'Ike and Tina'...a classic, bitter sweet, 'I love you/I hate you' kind of track. You can hear it on their Myspace thingy. Good isn't it? The lead Deluka, Ellie, has something of the Karen O about her, vocally and, to a lesser extent, visually. She's got that whole cool sassyness down to a tee. It's easy to see how they've become one of Birmingham's shining stars. You can catch them in Bucharest over the next few days...just on the number 9 bus route I think.

Next up The Presets! I was supposed to see them last year at Rootsville (what happened this year chaps?), but it got to 4am and Lady B had started dribbling and talking in tongues, so we left. I think they started playing at 5am or something kkkkkkrrrrazy like that. This time they came on at a far more respectable 10.30ish, which, eveen at my advancing years I can just about handle. For the uninitiated, there's two of 'em. Drummer and keyboardist Kim and vocalist/keyboardist Julian. If you don't recognise the band's name you'll probably know their biggest hit to date 'Are You The One' as it seemed to feature in ooodles of comps and mixes a couple of years back. 'Dance' acts, which I guess The Presets are at heart, can be hit and miss. There are notable exceptions, step forward The Infadels. I'm happy to report that The Presets are another one. Although I'm fairly sure there's plenty of backing track action, the addition of live drums and keyboards makes a real difference. Both band members really seemed to buzz off each other and the crowd (there was plenty of slightly 80's jigging about going on) loved it. Musically there's all sorts of stuff going on. A bit of Moroder and Vangelis in places (a couple of nice, almost proggy instrumentals in there), the other half heard a bit of PiL, I got snatches of Thomas Dolby, Pet Shop Boys, The Rapture, Radio 4 (the band, not the station...that would just be wrong)...whatever, it's all wrapped up in an energy fuelled, sweat soaked mash up that's as cool as a tinnie straight from the fridge (I did try to get through this without making an Australian reference...honest). One of the standout tracks from new album Apocalypso, My People, was simply stunning tonight. Like being chased down the M5 by the police at 180 mph playing techno in one of those pimp my ride kind of cars (with the big speakers and shit in the back) whilst someone smacks you round the back of the head with a glitter ball. Oh yes. On the evening that Andy 'don't call me English, ya bastards' Murrey got bounced out of Wimbledon, tonight was a case of game, Preset and match (oooh clever...I might use that). If you didn't make it, 'where the bloody hell were you?' (apologies for the second gratuitous Australian reference).

Thanks as ever to Carlo and George (Kamikaze! masterminds) for putting on another top night.

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