Monday, 25 October 2010

Pet Moon/Trophy Wife/Braindead Collective, Bullingdon Arms, Oxford, 24/10/10.

It's been a while since I wrote a gig review on here and the gig I went to last night was fucking awesome, so I'm gonna write about it. Even though I've already told you how great it was. If you don't want to read a clumsily written, wanky, fairly sycophantic gig review, you can pretty much stop here.

Normally when I'm enjoying a band and someone keeps telling me how rubbish they are, it really annoys me. Fine, I get it, you don't like them. Now can you shut up and let me enjoy this please? However, the level of hatred my girlfriends sister had for Braindead Collective was hilarious. I have rarely seen someone enjoy something so little while being so amusing. At one point she said something like "It's like having really fucking noisy worms in my ears playing random scat-jazz."
I really liked them. They reminded me of this band called Fraud. Fraud released this really good and slightly mental sounding free-jazz/funk/punk album a while back and won massive acclaim, especially for their live shows, and a load of Jazz awards, then just kind of disappeared. Apparently they haven't officially split up, they just do other things at the moment. Anyway, Braindead Collective reminded me of Fraud, and I really like Fraud, so I got pretty into BC's locked groove jazz noodling (is "locked groove jazz noodling" a massive contradiction? Well, I can't think of a better way to describe it, so that'll have to do), even with the running "They're fucking awful" commentary coming from others. It's inevitable really that this style of music will split opinion, especially in a crowd that haven't come to see that kind of thing. Well, I liked it, so there.

Trophy Wife pull off a trick of sounding like a lot of bits of other bands while not sounding enough like any of them to make you think "Oh, they're just another so-and-so." So you get elements of, oh bloody Hell, I had a list in my mind of all of them last night and I can't remember them now. Hang on, that's a good thing. Trophy Wife aren't a band that should be watered down to comparisons as in their own right they were pretty bloody good. Decent guitar pop songs on the slightly mellower side of "math" (whatever the fuck that means now, I only use it as it's a tag that people recognise) with a nice 80's vibe to them. And the drummer (appropriately named Kit) looked like he was having the best time of his life. Good stuff. Definitely worth keeping an ear on.

Ah, Pet Moon. I think I read somewhere that Pet Moon is like a white electro indie rock take on R&B, or maybe I said that and wish I hadn't. As a sentence, it's very on the side of wanky, and its also not wholly accurate. There is a definite R&B influence on some of those beat constructions, and there is an indie tone to the vocals and delivery, but to simmer it gently on a low heat down into that as a pigeonhole statement does what this music actually is a disservice (although at some point I guarantee someone will say/write that Andrew Mears is or has become a singer songwriter for the post-dubstep generation. Eurgh, music journalists...). These are well thought out, meticulously crafted songs that are just themselves rather than being of a style per se.
For a first gig, this is remarkably on it and together. I don't think I've ever seen a better debut performance. As a starting point they really couldn't have done much better. Very little could be criticised (who's gonna niggle over a couple of technical problems, really?) and it will be very interesting and exciting to see where this goes. Great songs, great show, great third thing I can't think of right now (coz these things have to be done in threes, OBVIOUSLY. I mean, like, durrrrrr). Yeah, Pet Moon = Fucking Great.

Yeah, now I remember why I stopped writing gig reviews. I'm not very good at them.

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