Monday, December 08, 2008

TV On The Radio / The Big Pink @ The Academy 2, Sunday 7th December 2008

Boo! Hiss! Damn Sunday gigs. In the middle of Winter too. The temptation to sit at home in the warm watching the Antiques Roadshow and supping a litre of Port is oh so strong. But - being pure rock n'roll - I squeezed myself into the old thermal cod piece and - stopping briefly for a rather fine hot apple and rum at the quieter bit of the German market (just in front of the library) - got to the venue a good hour or so before the start of the gig...plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere...and stick to the floor.

First up, The Big Pink. Blending the Jesus and Mary Chain - driving, fuzzy guitars ahoy - with a distinctly Glasvegas feel The Pink seemed a little subdued and miserable at first but soon hit their stride, peaking on their final track Dominoes...which I actually really liked. There's a nice contrast going on in there between the male and female vocalists and the addition of some dark electronica make them well worth a listen. Their MySpace page has to be seen to be believed...but it er...seems to feature young boys with hard ons (oh...that's why they're called The Big Pink...) and a - I can only presume - made up tale of abduction and murder. Not quite sure what's going on there but I'm sure it's all in the name of art young boys were harmed in the making of the site right?

Moving swiftly on, tonight was all about the men themselves TV On The Radio. They've been on and off my radar for a few years now but tracks from the current album, Dear Science (in particular Golden Age - like Prince with a hard on - and Dancing Choose) put them firmly in my sights (musically speaking...I'm not about to pop a cap in anyone's ass). I was ready for a good gig but hadn't realised just how darn funky they can get. Then again they can go a bit metal too. And soul. Rap too. Oh...shoegaze even. It's like a musical pick and mix. A living breathing record collection of someone with real taste. One of the lead vocalists,Tunde, has to be a strong competitor for the hardest working man in showbusiness. Twitching and grooving across the stage like a man possessed he was drenched in sweat after the first number and kept it up (oooer missus...) all the way through a glorious 90 minute set. The other main vocalist, Kyp, reaches the kind of high notes that the even Bee Gees would kill for. Together the harmonies can be simply awesome. Even the venue (the 'Academy' '2') and the bleeding cold couldn't stop it from being a great night. Influences? Hmmm, loads. But I was hearing Outcast and Living Colour in there with a dash of Yeasayer, a bit of Scissor Sisters...all kinds of great shit. They have to be strong competitors for one of the best live acts of the year and are not to be missed if you have a chance to catch 'em live. They're playing over in Australia in January - I might pop over. It would actually be worth the effort.

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