Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart / Shrag / Tender Trap, 10 June 2009 - Cargo

Wake up to find odd little bruises up and down my arms. Hmm, they must be from people’s pokey elbows in last night’s middle-aged mosh-pit. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are back!!! Again. Despite tube strikes, Cargo is crammed and there is a determination amongst the regular indie-pop massive to go mentalz and have top fuzzpop fun. So we do. I’m not sure how great a show the Pains play tonight (surely they must be feeling a little jaded by now?) I’m too busy laughing hysterically and jumping up and down in a ridiculous scrum at the front. We may be knocking on (as Marianthi says, the nearer you are to the front, the older the crowd is), but hey, we can still kick it like nutjobs. We chant out the words (tuneful!), do the ‘ooh, ooh, ooh’ bits in ‘Come Saturday’, punch the air to ‘Everything With You’, and those of us with hair shake our barnets in deep appreciation of the glorious buzzing tunes. I especially enjoy ‘The Tenure Itch’ tonight and ‘Young Adult Friction’ is pretty much a religious experience. There’s even a brand spanking new song, ‘Higher Than The Stars’ jangling wistfully, Kip's voice lollopingly lilting. As the set closes with a big, fat, thumpy ‘Gentle Sons’ we all agree a fine time has been had indeed, much to the disdain of the sour faced youth, who prefer not to dance.

Earlier on, Tender Trap play a set chocka with new tunes, sounding slightly ramshackle, but sparky, and surprisingly fearsome thanks to Katrina Dixon's big boomy stand-up drumming that boots it all along (as Amelia says 'stand up drummers are it'). Amelia, shaking a tambourine throughout, is in good voice - clear and bell-like, keeping the tunes in check. She is also wearing an excellent ensemble – a dress with slightly–delic black swirls, turquoise tights and ankle boots, sort of indie-kid grows up, but not too much.

We get two ‘hits’. The lovely see-sawing ‘Oh Katrina’ and ‘Talking Backwards’. Amelia announces the next song is called ‘Suddenly’. My brain goes “Suddenleeeee, life has new meaning etc…argh! shut up!!” Amelia goes, “The title makes everyone think of Lionel Ritchie”. She’s right, it does. How awful! But the song’s good, so we’ll let her off. Oh, I'll just fill in the end of this line, or those last two words look odd. There.

Regular gigster, John M. in his rightful position
at the front of the crowd is tonight sporting a Damned tee-shirt which inspires an excellent anecdote from Amelia about going to see The Damned years ago. She had to wear the same clothes to school the next day, which would have been fine, except an old man got onstage and wee-ed on her head! Not to worry though, nothing like that will happen tonight, even though they’re ending the set with their ‘punk rock’ song.

Throughout Tender Trap’s set, Helen of Shrag has been doing happy stampy dances at the front. Now she gets onstage to do more stampy dancing with Shrag, (whilst singing, obvs.) and Amelia does reciprocal dancing from the audience. Drummer Leigh-Ann has a gammy foot, so props herself up with crutches to add singing bits, whilst a stand-in friend drummer, er, drums. Shrag are great, smashing their way through an assortment of new songs and excellently crunchy renditions of ‘Long Term Monster’ and ‘Ghosts Before Breakfast’. They are urgent and exciting and vital and a bit odd. Good work all round.


Tom said...

Great wasn't it! I still ache. We got the Dads Army moshpit going for their gig in Cambridge last night too!

String Bean Jen said...

Ooh, at last, a Kitten Painting review of a gig I have been to!

Ms. Kitten, were you the one with the nice, sleek brunette bob? I think you and Mr. Underexposed often come as a pair? I would like to tell you (in person) how much I adore your writing and how much I appreciate your voice as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic WOMAN in the (too often male-dominated) world of indie pop blogs!


Kitten Painting said...

Why, you're too kind! Yes that was probably me. Come and say hello next time we're at the same gig.