Last Monday we had the lovely Joss Stone, this Monday we get men in tights and gimp masks. And they say variety is dead. More of the men in tights later, first up Airship. Despite being a gig goer of some 20 years or so...and despite knowing that loud often comes after quiet...I still get that tingle down the spine when the guitar noodlings and soft dreamy vocals explode like a cat in a microwave (obviously putting cats in microwaves is wrong, wrong, wrong). So it was with Airship, a Manchester band who seem to be attracting a bit of a buzz in t'press with a Mercury Rev tinged rock sound (and shades of really early Idlewild too). Anthemic choruses, a fair degree of thrashing about and a lead singer who manages to make long hair look cool again. Well worth a listen.
Next up...and the last band of the night...Marmaduke Duke. I have to admit to being a bit of a Maramaduke Duke virgin. My knowledge of the two bands from whom the core Marmaduke Duke line up springs from (Simon out of Biffy Clyro and JP Reid...him out of Succioperro) is also sketchy to say the least. However, I now know this - The Marms, described as a 'conceptual rock band' are, quite frankly as mad as a BSE infected cow on LSD. Wearing tights, feathers, masks, capes and a dash of lippie, the band came on to the stage together with a character know only as The Duke. Dressed in a pair of glittery leggings, a white tux jacket and the sort of mask that only belongs in horror movies where teens gets slashed to pieces, his sole role is to pace the stage, freak out the audience and, presumably, murder a few of 'em after the gig. Nice work if you can get it. The music? Oh yes, I nearly forgot that bit. It's a curious blend of out and out rooooooooockkkk (the nearest I can come to is System of a Down) and damn danceable electro, Everybody Dance for example could be the bastard twin of Datarock's Fa Fa Fa. There was a fair bit of mosh action (I stayed out of it tonight, I didn't want to risk turning my back on The Duke for one second...slash, slash, slash...dead), oodles of insanity and odd soft, reflective moments (a track called Heartburn could almost be a lighters aloft anthem...sadly The Duke nicked all the lighters...he needed them to incinerate the pile of bodies building up on the tour van). If you like bearded men in make up, feathers and masks, hard rock, electro pop and serial killers as much as I do, you'll have a cracking night (if you are a bearded man who likes wearing make up, feathers and masks why not get in touch for fun...and maybe more).
NB: On second thoughts, don't. Lady Baron might not approve...masks freak her out.