L.A. WITCH: The Lexington, 18th February 2017.

20 02 2017

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If you’re a fan of the phenomenal L.A. Witch you’ll have seen that some low life decided to steal some of their gear after their show in Bristol last week. For some, they may have just packed up, cancelled the tour and headed home. Not L.A. Witch. They’re doing this tour until the very end and putting their all into every single show. The kindness and love from fellow fans and musicians has been overwhelming and just beautiful to see. I don’t think I’ve seen a bunch of people rally round like this, and it’s just a wonderful thing to see. For every shitty situation, there’s always some good. It’s the kindness of others that gets you through in instances like this.

I saw their first ever show in London in November at the Shacklewell Arms. A bunch of us crammed into a small, sweaty room to finally witness one of the best bands around. I’ve been going on and on about their music for 3 or 4 years now, and to have finally seen them last November was just a real highlight for me. To see them on Saturday? Oh man, it towers over that show for sure.

Their show at The Lexington was nothing short of divine. You could tell that they were playing with slight caution at the start, especially Sade as she was borrowing a guitar and pedals. However, the nerves slipped away with ease as she held that guitar as if it was her own. The way they played had no indication of what had happened a few nights before, but I noticed there was something about them this time that really hit me. They played with this unbelievable force and passion that made you just want to jump on stage and join in. They made you want to be part of their gang. It must be said that Ellie is a fantastic drummer and the way she basically annihilates the drums during Kill My Baby and Ain’t Comin’ Home is insane. For the most part she makes you wish you could play the drums, but for the remainder you just stare in awe of her beating the shit out of the drum kit.

Hearing songs like Good Guys and You Love Nothing was so great, especially as I don’t think Good Guys is really played much, or maybe at all. Heart Of Darkness closes the set. Irita really owns the set with her bass on Drive Your Car, and Sade rips into the song, Brian with this fury that is so wonderfully captivating.

As I gazed upon the stage, no part of me could think of a band that they reminded me of. I really cannot think of anyone or anything I have heard before, and I was instantly shot back in time to when I first heard them in 2013. It just smacks you blissfully in the face. I love being able to hear songs like Get Lost live because these early songs are the ones that had me hooked completely. Get Lost is a real highlight of the set because at the end, they just really let rip. It’s such a raucous song and they just do it so perfectly well in their set.  I guess part of me really loves them so much because if I had any musical talent, I’d want to sound like L.A. Witch. I stood with my eyes closed a lot and swayed during a few of their songs, just letting the music take me wherever. I’m having a really shit time at the moment, and I just wanted to hear something that would take me out of my mind and body. They most certainly did that, and for that hour or so- nothing in the world, nothing in my head mattered. I remember vividly closing my eyes during Ain’t Comin’ Home and just being covered in goose bumps. Most definitely one of the best shows I’ve been to in a long time and easily one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.

Each song is played with this way of just leaving you stunned, there is simply no denying just how great this band is and with their debut record FINALLY coming out this summer- I think everyone is finally going to realise just how brilliant they are and I have every ounce of faith that their debut record is probably going to get played to death by me, easily.

I managed to get the set list from the show, so if you’re interested they played:

Intro

You Love Nothing

Kill My Baby Tonight

Brian

Untitled

Ain’t Comin’ Home

Sleep

Feel Alright

Drive Your Car

Baby In Blue

Get Lost

Encore:

Good Guys

Heart Of Darkness.

 

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GROSS NET/GIRLS NAMES. The Lexington. 19th February 2016.

20 02 2016

213412girlsnames

 

 

I shouldn’t have gone out last night. I’m ill, I guess. But not in a conventional “I have a cold” kind of way but in a “no one knows what’s wrong with me, I’m in pain and I want to cry” kind of me. Apparently it’s the nerves in my neck. I’m a clumsy fucker at the best of times, but I know I’ve not done anything recently to warrant doing such damage. Although, I have a slight disregard for my general well-being so who knows! Standing for a few hours was the dumbest thing I could have done, and I’ve only just managed to get out of bed. I’ve got my own playlist sorted for my MRI scan next week/week after, and as someone who can’t sit still I’ve most definitely picked the wrong kind of songs to listen to. Moving on and pain aside. Gross Net. Girls Names. Last night.

Gross Net is Phil from Girls Names making a lot of noise and probably terrifying the crowd. In certain places, I’m sure they wouldn’t “get” it. Places like London and Manchester would and did. As Gross Net, Phil pretty much seems like a young Nick Cave circa Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party. When he’s not holding his guitar, he grips the mic and flails it around as if his life depends on it. Seeing a band or singer expose themselves like this what makes them believable and it is what makes them so easy to relate to. To make his set even better, I got a song dedication. If I was in a band, I’d probably pick people out and aim songs at them. Be fruity kids, it’s fine. With a knowing point and my name spoken through the mic, Phil rips into a song that I was pretty pleased to have dedicated to me. He closed his set with a song for those on the dole. I’m fairly sure most weren’t expecting this kind of declaration on a Friday night, but who cares. I loved every minute of it, and I was immediately back in 2010-2011 when I spent too much time on the dole and having my soul crushed by the job centre every Friday for £70 a week. I coped, just about. Time changes everything to an extent. Phil ends this song screaming into the mic in the crowd, as the end of the song draws near he places the mic around the neck of a bewildered person in the crowd and walks off. The guy had no idea what to do, gave it a few minutes and removed the mic from his neck and placed it on the ground. Far too polite.

I’ve been a fan of Girls Names for ages but this was the first time seeing them live. I was immediately drawn to bassist, Claire and how she is probably one of the best bassist I’ve ever seen. Now, if I was going to list my favourite live bands I would easily put Girls Names in the top 5. Maybe it’s because they were playing one of the best venues in the country or maybe, maybe it’s because they are just so fucking(sorry) good. I firmly believe that when you go to a gig, you should leave wanting to start a band. Girls Names did more than this. I felt like I was watching The Fall or The Jesus And Mary Chain for the first time. I felt like I had gone back in time and I was anywhere but in London. Maybe I was in the depths of Berlin or maybe I was in an alleyway in Manchester; I don’t know. But I do know that gigs like this just stick in my mind for a long, long time.

What I loved about their show last night was that each person in the band got their chance to show us all what they’re made of. I loved during the encore Phil was going into Claire’s bass as if he was telling her to get out of his space. It was in a sibling kind of way- a gentle shove and neither was going to back down. Cathal was ramming his guitar into the speaker behind him giving off this excess feedback which just made you wish the show wasn’t about to end. Gib was beating the crap out of the drums with such fury. These Belfast bruisers make enough noise for anyone to go slightly deaf, and that’s part of the charm. If a band is wonderfully and obnoxiously loud, I’ll probably love them. Girls Names last night easily cemented why they are probably one of the best bands around. I could go on for ages about how great they were and hope they just sum up everything I love about music. They have a sound that I’m always looking for. They remind me of bands I love such as Bauhaus and Cold Cave but they also sound like nothing else. They are a band to be treasured and seen at any chance one gets.

On record they are noisy but I firmly believe that Girls Names are one of those bands that you just have to see, and sometimes London crowds have a rep of being a bunch of stale dicks but in this case, they really weren’t. This was one of the best crowds I’ve seen and I’m fairly sure that’s part of what made the show last night nothing short of perfect. Their dark but entirely comforting sound may be a turn off for those who want conventional and tame sounds- don’t surround yourself with people who want that. Go find those who aren’t afraid to be engulfed by sounds so dark, creepy and loud. Let the sounds rip through you and let the lyrics make you question everything, and everyone. They’re the kind of band I wish I was in. I’ve said it loads but this is the kind of music I’d probably make if I had any musical talent.

Go see them, let them deafen you and buy one of Phil’s “reasonably priced tapes.”





PINS- The Lexington. 27th May 2015.

29 05 2015

Everyone has a handful of bands they don’t ever get tired of listening to or seeing live. I’ve probably got more than a person should, but there are worse things I could spend my money on.

Prior to seeing PINS on Wednesday night, my pal and I were stood outside the venue whilst he had a cigarette. A man comes up to him and asks if he can buy a cigarette off him. I catch a glimpse of him and on his shoulder he has a pet rat. A white thing with horrible pinky/red eyes. He sees us look at his pet, and he plants a kiss on it. He walks off happily with his pet and cigarette. Not much can shock you I suppose when you’re constantly in a busy city. But this? It was just weird. If it gets him through the day, then so be it. Also, I had a really good photo of the band on stage to use, but guess who dropped their phone down the toilet at work yesterday. Yes, this idiot writing this.

PINS are fascinating to see live. You see there are some bands who seem almost scared or probably too uptight to look like they’re enjoying themselves on stage, but with PINS you can tell that they really love playing live. Faith sings in the crowd, Sophie beats the shit out of the drums, Anna makes you wish you could play bass in a band like PINS and Lois likes to wander off a bit on stage. She got behind something on the stage at The Lexington and every so often you saw her glorious blonde hair peer over the side.

The show on Wednesday was a launch for the new record (Wild Nights) which is out on Monday. Some copies were being sold afterwards and of course, it is one of the best records to come out this year. As I’ve called Crocodiles as having the record of the year, I’ll say that PINS have put out the best record in the country. I’ll write about why I love the record this evening.

I’ve seen PINS either 5 or 6 times now and I probably should have run out of things to say about them, or I’m likely to repeat myself. They’re a band you just don’t ever get tired of seeing. The only thing that annoys me are the creeps right at the front who really need to stop taking photos of the body parts of the band (everyone can see you zoom in on the bums and such, just stop.) Other than that, those who go to see PINS are those who really get what the band are about and aren’t there just to hear one song. Everyone still goes nuts to LUVU4LYF and Girls Like Us. But new songs such as House Of Love and Too Little Too Late are starting to get the same reaction as old favourites.

From seeing them a few times, it is just bloody brilliant to see a band develop into something truly wonderful. Their shows aren’t as dark and as moody as their records, but there is something sinister that flows through songs like Oh Lord that come alive when you witness it live. Watching them live is like being at decent house party and your mates band come along to play some songs. There probably are words to describe their live shows, but it isn’t good enough. You’ve just got to see it. They drag people on stage for their take on Hybrid Moments by the Misfits. Girls Like Us is mashed with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. You just want them to play forever and go a bit louder each time. They go mental at the end of Dazed By You which is amazing to witness. They can do the slowest of songs and they can go off the rails on another. They’re showing everyone what they are made of, not just live but on the new record.

I’ve seen them support bands I love and I’ve seen them headline their own shows. Ain’t no party like a PINS party. I wish it was home time so I could unleash my thoughts on their new record.

What I love about PINS is that they evidently have something in them that’s going to fuel younger generations to pick up an instrument and make their own noise. PINS are quite simply one of the best bands from Manchester, and there are loads of them. PINS have got this thing about them that make you want to sack off your 9 to 5 and start a band. To hell with it, you might as well do it. Their sound could intimidate some, but once you’ve met them you’ll realise that they’re just proper lovely people who make the kind of music you wish you could. I’m sort of holding back a little because I’m reserving it all for my thoughts on Wild Nights.

They’ve just announced a tour for September and you can get tickets here: https://www.songkick.com/search?page=1&per_page=10&query=PINS+UK&type=upcoming

It’s pretty tempting to go see them in Manchester. Pretty sure a home crowd is as good as it gets. The record is out Monday and you can buy tickets to their new tour now. You know what to do.