Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Virgins / Amazing Baby / Chew Lips @ The Rainbow, Tuesday 21st April 2009

Picture courtesy of Drw-Images

According to the news before I left home for this gig the sun is starting to go out (well it's getting 'quiet'...I didn't realise it was ever noisy, but then I'm a little deaf). On top of that all the bees are dying off and gangs of crack addicted Magpies (I made up the crack bit...although the one in my garden is using those bits of tin foil for something) are taking over the world. So, given that we're all soon going to be plunged into a dark, cold, unpollinated planet ruled by giant Magpies we might as well go out to a decent soundtrack. Tonight's threesome wouldn't be a bad choice.

First up Chew Lips (NB: chewing your lips can be dangerous...always consult your Doctor before embarking on a change of diet). Lead Lip, Tigs I think she's called (awwww...that's real cute), has a surpisingly powerful live voice for a pop act. I mean real powerful. I could almost hear her belting out some torch songs in 1920's Berlin. Musically they're (in their words) 'electro drone'...it's a pretty accurate description with a soundtrack that comes off a little like an 80's arcade game. Put the two together and it works really well, perhaps that's why they've had a single released by 'cooler than a polar bear's testicles' French label Kitsune. All in all, Chewriffic.

Next up Amazing Baby, who I think split the audience a little. I, being relentlessly positive about pretty much any band with a pulse, rather liked their Ziggy era Bowie glam rock / Stooges blend. In fact, when I shut my eyes whilst listening to Pump Your Brakes, I could almost smell Dame David himself...hmmmm glittery. Have a listen for yourself....that 'baaaaaaby oh oh oh oh oh' bit is pure Bowie. If you're gonna take inspiration from anyone, take it from the best. Some brilliant fret wanking and poodle hair rock moments in a classy (and rather loud...especially 6 inches from the speaker) set.
Finally, the spirit of The Strokes is strong in this one Luke, it's The Virgins (all of whom actually ARE virgins...yeah riiiiiight). Shades of Hall and Oates (but, once again, that could just be me) and (for anyone under the age of 60), Hot Hot Heat and the 1990's (the band...not the decade) too. In other words a bit of 70's disco, 80's electro and good old rock n'roll. Some bands are just cool and The Virgins fit neatly into that box. They're smooth too. On more than one occasion we were told that we were 'one of the coolest audiences around'. Of course this is just patter but, hey, a girl will take her ego boosts wherever she can find 'em. There were plenty of set highlights but I really enjoyed Rich Girls (one of their standoutiest tracks...all high vocals, funky bass and New Yawk 'tude) and, as an encore, an inspired take on Squeeze's Up The Junction (with most of the right words). Teen Lovers was pretty awesome too...I'm listening to it right now in fact...you can check this out and a stack of their other tracks on their rather splendid MySpace page. Go on, lose your virginity...

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