Thursday, 31 December 2009

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Dark winters wear you down / Up again to see the dawn. Fave Tunes - November/December 2009

I See, So I See So – Broadcast & The Focus Group Everything I want from music, spooky, disorientating, sublime.

The Road Of Golden Dust - Espers Sounds like drifting Ophelia-like along a reedy river.

For While You Slept - Hush Arbors Brooding, foreboding, exhilarating psych-folk.

What Would I Want? Sky - Animal Collective Playful and feathery - wriggle your limbs against the rigid winter cold.

Devil Made You High – Hush Arbors Like putting your head out the window of a speeding car and having the breath pulled out of you.

Young Adult Friction – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart played live at the ICA, Upstairs At the Garage, The Scala. Always my favourite few minutes of every Pains gig.

Meet Me At Lookout Point - Devendra Banhart Ethereal sunshine daydream.

Smell Of Incense – West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band The sound of smoke.

Willy O’Winsbury – The Pentangle The Wicker Man and The Pentangle meet in a folk waltz = two of my favourite creepy folk things combined.

Down On You - Ringo Deathstarr Delicious daydream dizziness.

Pretty much everything by Deerhunter
They have been my cocoon during the freeze.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Comet Gain / Veronica Falls / Schwervon! - Buffalo Bar, 11 December 2009

A handmade felt rosette has been trampled in the doorway of The Buffalo Bar. It’s a sorry sight, but kind of fitting for this is the last EVER Twee As Fuck clubnight, the crazy kidz who ran the night for two and bit years are going on to (sun-dappled, flower-speckled) pastures new and going out with a cheery POP farewell.

Twee As Fuck put on lots of excellent bands and jolly popnights but somehow managed to get folks’ backs up. They were like the kids at school who always did everything right, the ones you couldn’t help liking but secretly wanted to push over in the mud. Tonight they’re at it again with a spankingly ace line-up.

First the wonderful Schwervon! go rip-roaring through an end-of-massive-tour-honed set, Matt on guitar and Nan on drums set up to face each other having conversations with clackity rhythms and crankily groovy sounds. They play old favourite ‘Dinner’ – yay! They show us a big old set of cutlery they were given as a ‘Christmas present’ by a Manchester curry house. It turns out we can WIN the cutlery set as it’s too heavy for the band to lug about. A dance off ensues! The dance off is mainly Kate boogie-ing about at the front of the crowd and so rightly Kate wins the cutlery. It’s always top fun when Schwervon! are in town.

Veronica Falls become mightier every time I see them. They’re spook-indie, for a start there’s the excellent gothic (not goth) bone-rattling janglepop of ‘Found Love In A Graveyard’, but there’s something slightly distanced and other-worldly about all of their songs. Not in an ethereal way, but in a feral, weird kids way. They’re the creepy loners who got their hands round the neck of indiepop and squeezed a little too hard. They sound echoey, like they’re playing in a crypt: clattery drums, dead-eyed sweet-gone-bad voices, and a double bill of guitar janglage = fearsome.

And so the task of being last band to play Twee As Fuck falls to Comet Gain who somewhat bizarrely seem to have become ‘elder statesmen’ for today’s up ‘n’ thrusting indiepop kids. As ever at a Comet Gain gig we scan the stage for missing band members. Oh, Rachel’s not here. This is a shame as Rachel seems to have carried the whole shebang along at recent gigs in a smiley, clappy, possibly slightly unhinged way. We miss her voice and her shuffley-stamp dancing.

Pulling the whole thing together is - uh-oh - left to David Feck, but shockingly he appears to be magnificently un-drunk, leading the band through a swathe of ferocious pop songs only one of which, to be fair a newie, they forget how to play.

Feck explains his sartorial choices for the night – shirt, tie, cardie, cravat-scarf - he’s been aiming for the curmudgeonly landlord look, but has accidentally dressed like the (hated) eighties. Doh! There are plans to end the set appropriately with ‘The Kids At The Club’. ‘Tis indeed a scratchy soul-pop gem, but it’s missing Rachel’s yelping and maybe doesn’t quite hit the mark. So we get given a choice for the last song and shout our little heads off for ‘My Defiance’ and then dance our little wigs off , stopping only to enjoy the extended midsong wibble waffle testifying about (amongst other things) listening to ‘Chestnut Mare’ by The Byrds. ‘It’s a song about a horse. Of course.’

N.B. Bob Underexposed decided to take the night off from photographing the gig - hence this random selection of images from my files.