Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster / The High Society / The Indigos @ The Rainbow, Saturday 20th December 2008

Mr Rock meet Mr Roll. Mr Roll, this is Mr Rock. Way back in the glorious technicolour 1950's this is, quite possibly, how the future of music began. Anyone who was at last night's show would have plenty of reasons to celebrate the meeting of Mssrs Rock and Roll (no, I have no real idea of what I'm blathering on about either but it's more fun that starting a review with 'First up the Indigos' though isn't it?). Oh. Alright then. First up The Indigos! I'd seen them once before - a solid performance with hints of brilliance. Tonight though, they nailed it. Pure and simple. No question. 100% musical gold. Quite how bands change in a matter of months is a question that scientists are working on right that Hadron Collider thingy...but sometimes it just happens. Deep, Zeppy riffs, dark bass, booming drums and Ian's (pictured below) suddenly quite ominous vocals (has he been gargling Satan's jizz?) all came together in one big tight package of ROCK. I hope the live recording of last night's show does justice to it all (Teeth and Play in particular were awesome). It's destined to go down as something special. Last time I thought The Indigos would just go on to be another good local band. Now, I really think they could be contenders...

Next a band that, if the world were a fairer place, would be busily bedding super models, selling out stadiums and hoovering up huge bags of coke in their own private jet - The High Society (pictured below). As it is we are genuinely lucky to have them around. Watching them last night I imagine you'd have got the same sense of excitement from watching, say, the New York Dolls back in the early days...or Iggy and The Stooges. Yes, they are that good. It's strange that so many people only really get excited about bands when the media is salavating all over them. It's oh so safe to pitch up at the LG (Lord God help us all) Arena and watch some big overhyped tosh for £30 a ticket plus booking fee plus tosh tax plus delivery charge plus plus plus...blah blah blah...but so much of the best, most exciting music is being made in much smaller venues by bands like The High Society. If you wanted to create the perfect glam rock supergroup you'd struggle to beat The High Society. Maxi B is a rock superstar. Drummer Ash (who's also in the Black and Reds) is the best drummer I've seen in 20 years of gigging and Martyn, Topper and Glen look, sound and complete the dream line up. I'm in love. The set was fast and furious, like fucking up an alley...and every bit as satisfying. Revenge, The Stripper, Bettie is a Pin-up...bang, bang, bang. It feels good. Maxi ended by tossing his mic into the audience as if to say over to you...think you can do better? No one picked it up. No one could.

After all that the headliners had a tough job to do. But that's the thing about great gigs. Each band inspires the rest. The night just keeps building and The Eighties B-Line Matchbox Disaster finished the job off before (almost literally) destroying the place. I'd not seen them before. I'd only heard a few tracks...Mister Mental in particular stood out. Musically they're goth rock with added -abilly (that'll be gothrockabilly then). It's a curious mix in places but it just works brilliantly. Within the first few notes a good natured mosh pit had broken out and this continued through the entire set. Moshing (basically shoving each other around, bouncing about and trying not to break a limb) must look quite odd if you're not involved in it. I have to admit it is a little odd, but it actually enhances the music, adding the physical to the aural and visual experience. That's my justification for behaving like an overgrown teenager...and I'm sticking to it. A decent pit looks after each other (picking up the dead and dying from the floor) and not banging into anyone who doesn't want to get involved. That seemed to be the case last night. The band themselves were...and I hate to use that word again...awesome. Lead Box, Guy, regularly flung himself into the pit of bodies (singing all the way) only to emerge slightly more bedraggled each time back on stage, whipping the crowd up into even more of a frenzy. He's got a bit of a Pete Murphy (Bauhaus) touch to his vocals in places one minute, then a growling yelp the a possessed high priest of rock. The rest of the band meanwhile, grind out one punishing slab of noise after the next. Kaboom. Last night's set contained (amongst many other classics) In The Garden, Love Turns to Hate, Mission From God, A Man For All Seasons, Mister Mental...just perfect musical madness (you can check out most of these on their MySpace page). I'm bruised, one of my vertabrae is in a slightly different place and I can still taste the sweat, but then that's what Mr Rock and Mr Roll would've wanted eh?

Happy Christmas dear readers!


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