Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Vivian Girls – 9 December 2008, Rough Trade East

Jeez, this is dangerous, hanging out in Rough Trade for an hour, killing time idly flicking through the seven inches and the garage LPs and Krautrock compilations and old copies of Shindig! and contemplating the Suspiria soundtrack and here’s that Love DVD I’ve been looking for and…and…too much ace stuff, argh! Oh here are The Vivian Girls to distract us with a snappy set of fizzbomb fuzz songs.

This is the perfect gig – straight from work with not too much waiting for things to happen, no tedious support bands to wait out, then a quick bus ride home in time for tea. And free.

The Vivian Girls are excited. They’ve just noticed the Rough Trade Christmas tree has a copy of their album dangling from it. This is the good thing about the band, they’re still buzzing with the fun of visiting new places and playing their songs for folks. Despite having to drive themselves around the country, getting stopped by the police for doing illegal turns* and being boo-ed in Coventry the night before**, they’re still full of joie de vivre, engaging the audience with cute anecdotes and endearing banter as much as with their skittery tunes.

The reverb is ramped up, harmonies echoing in a spooky mist against the spit and sparkle of buzztoned guitars and rumble-de-thump drumming. It’s thrashy and trashy and not very competent, but burstingly good noisepop fun. And of course there’s the fab ‘Tell The World’ sounding like witchy fingered trees blowing in a hail storm. And a stoopid story about a lost cat and a friend’s put-on in English accent (note: none of The Vivian Girls can do an English accent).

Pleasingly, the three Vivian Girls come in three different flavours of hair, so you can choose your fave. They also have very interesting and colourful tattoos which somehow add to their charm. Katy (the red one) has saved her best dress for today as they’re playing two shows (there’s Madame JoJos later). The zip isn’t done up, but I think she’s just being punk rock in a devil-may-care ‘zips are for bourgeois phonies’ kinda way. At the end of the set, she discovers her sartorial faux pas and is a bit horrified. I feel bad that I haven’t said anything about the zip. Sorry.

* The audience has to explain to the band what the term ‘prat’ means, as the Old Bill used the term ‘pratnav’ to describe The Viviuan Girls’ rubbish satnav system which made them go the wrong way.
** The London audience automatically boos Coventry as a concept, even before we’ve heard of their dastardly treatment of the Girls.

No comments: