Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart / Comet Gain – 16 December 2008, The Old Blue Last

And suddenly it all makes sense…
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have been making indiepop kids far and wide go a bit bonkerz. Listening to their recordings, I can hear that the band has a cute way with a fuzzy tune, but I’m not quite getting why all the boys and girls are going so Pains crazy. Now I’ve seen them live (was away when they were over earlier in the year so I missed out on their initial slaying of the popkids), I gets it!

The tiny room atop The Old Blue Last is crammed with eager Pains-seekers, some of whom have paid one whole pound to ensure they definitely gain entry to this free Twee As Fuck shindig. The four Pains (three skinny boys, one smiley girl) seem sweet and self-effacing, adjusting their effects pedals before swallow-diving into a sparking sherbet noise-bomb, racing through a short sweet set that leaves us feeling disorientated with delight.

It’s all the songs you know – ‘Come Saturday’, ‘Everything With You’, ‘Young Adult Friction’…sounding vital and wonderful, slamming into your ears and whisking you along in a giddy thrill. Yearning lyrics and dark concerns come wrapped in glowing pop wonderment. You can sit and think about the words at home (and they’re pretty good words, how many songs can there be mentioning microfiche?) Here you need to feel the thrills ‘n’ spills thump of the drums in your solar plexus, shake your head in a blur, skid along on the squeal and squall of the guitars (and look, singer Kip has a white Fender Jaguar, just like Kevin Shields), grin as Peggy chases an unruly swivelling mic to coo out backing vocals or as she just stands a-shakin’ her hair. It’s good hair for shakin’ for sure.

Heard live, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s songs, the songs that make you smile and tap your foot at home, become The Only Songs That Matter Right Now! They make your head do that thing where the world stops spinning and you become intensely aware of this. precise. moment. with the music crashing down around you in little slow-mo snowflakes of electricity. Who knows how or why fuzzy little pop songs can sometimes do this? They just do.

We gather our composure to find Comet Gain getting onstage to play a ‘Greatest Hits’ set (“Then we remembered we don’t know how to play them all”). Rachel is the life and soul tonite, taking centre stage to lead us all on a bacchanalian beat trip, hands clapping, feet stamping, through the likes of ‘Say Yes!’ and the giddy glide of ‘The Fists In The Pocket’. Feck tells us this midget pop gem was going to be a single, but it would’ve been such a success that they would have all gone off the rails. True fakt.

We can’t stay for the whole set, but it’s hard to tear ourselves away, as Comet Gain can be so very moreish. We keep going, ‘Oh I love this one!’ and staying to see what the next song will be. Plus we are having a good laugh watching the Looks on Shoreditch twatsters’ faces when they peer round the door and see the band – they havenae got a clue, ha ha!

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