So it’s been a pretty up and down week out there in the big bad world: Obama bagged the Nobel Peace Prize / the Tories look set to move into No.10 next year. Sigh.
Meanwhile in other less significant news, I went to four gigs. Yes, four. That is a lot for me. I am not a young and crazy thing any more. I get tired and grumpy. Well, that’s not entirely true. Mostly I just get very drunk and red in the face. Annnnnnyway, back to the four gigs. These are they:
Django Django / Egyptian Hip Hop / Hounds of Hate
This Is Music warehouse party
We arrived just as Hounds of Hate were sending everyone into a trance (in a good way) with their slo-mo psychedelic fuzziness. Louie and Leveret from Egyptian Hip Hop greeted me with a big hug. Later Louie told me he only hugged me because he mistook me for family friend. Some kind of great aunt probably. Alex and Nick EHH were very excited because ‘a Klaxon’ had been spotted at the party. The four young Mancunians were up next. There was a mild ruckus mid-set (a falling out with the DJ over the sound). Eventually they got back to it, showcasing tons of new awesome new songs. They’ve got the melodic grunge thing down. I’m expecting big things from theses dudes. Django Django headlined, in as much as you can headline a living-room-sized warehouse. They sounded tighter than ever. Really exciting stuff. Then there was lots of sambuca drinking, dancing and a weird French guy who wanted to know if we had any ‘eroin. Er, no. Download Egyptian Hip Hop ‘Rad Pit’ and Django Django ‘Love’s Dart’ free from Dummy Mag. Interviews via the links too.
Dexy & The Hand Me Downs
This was very much a last minute thing – the Windmill is just down the road from me – and I know these guys from a few years back. Dexy makes really very good country punk. Or punk country. He gives it his goddamn all on stage. And he plays the harmonica. Heartfelt, soulful, energising stuff. Have a listen on Dexy’s myspace.
First Aid Kit
The lovely people at Radar Maker put me on to the two phenomenal Swedish sisters that make up First Aid Kit. I really like their very recent single ‘Hard Believer’ but seeing them perform their folk/protest/blues songs live is something else altogether. ‘Wise beyond their years’ is an overused description but it’s hard to believe (sorry) that Klara & Johanna Söderberg are 18 and 16 respectively. So much self-possession, so much power – not just in their heart-stopping vocal delivery but in their message. They are very right on. I would like to be as right on when I grow up. Listen to ‘Hard Believer’ and more on First Aid Kit’s myspace. Check out some awesome photos from the gig here.
Clock Opera / Gaggle
Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
I’m a big fan of Clock Opera‘s sliced n diced melodies. Their songs are anthemic and spine-tingling, full of positivity and possibility without even the slightest hint of twee or cheese. It’s feel-good and radio-friendly without resorting to type. They sounded big live. Get a free Clock Opera download and read the interview on Dummy. Heading up the night, though, were Gaggle. There has been a lot of noise about this 22-piece all female rave choir. They’re a truly exciting prospect and there’s lots to get your teeth into on Gaggle’s myspace page but, for me, they just didn’t cut it live. Maybe it was sound issues but I can’t help but feel they’ve been hyped before they’ve had the chance to fully develop their live act. Which is a bit of a missed trick for such a visually arresting group.