I’ve had a storming rock n roll week since last Thursday, which has left me in the enviable position of not having enough of a chance to blog about any of the gigs that I’ve been too. So in homage to the mixtape, I’m putting a compilation together.
Whilst I still enjoy putting a CD or playlist together every now and again, it’s not quite as fulfilling as the sheer effort involved with tapes. I remember spending hours trying to seamlessly get songs to fade in and out of each other, or trying to juxtapose a quiet, thoughtful tune with an absolute belter.
Last Thursday it was great to head to Le Pub to check out Rough Music. They haven’t played a gig for quite a while, so despite being a Cardiff band, I’ve never managed to catch them live. They’re a pretty heavy band with punk roots, but the distorted guitars and screaming was always pinned back by a tight as you like rhythm section. Welcome to Shanghai is a pretty good indication of where they’re at, but having debuted some new material at the gig, it’ll be interesting to see how they take it forward.
On Saturday I ended up at Buffalo to see both El Ten Eleven and Nanook of the North. I’ve talked about how brill they both are a fair bit lately (here and here), so instead I’ll head straight into Sunday’s gig at The Moon Club. I haven’t seen such a varied line-up for quite some time. The night kicked off with Right Hand Left Hand playing probably the best gig I’ve seen them take on. Their instrumental post-rock relies on playing an unbelievably tight set, something that they always manage to do. The Moon suits them as a venue too, as it really gives the audience a chance to check out the band dynamics.
They were followed by The Jelas, who split opinion amongst the people I was with. I thoroughly enjoyed their 1990s lo-fi sound, which sounded a bit like a pumped up Pavement. The jaunty aspect was quite a clash with what came next. The Sleaford Mods‘ electronic beats sit quite under the radar next to Jason Williamson’s intense delivery. Despite regularly checking out hardcore bands, I haven’t heard such a ‘punk’ vocal delivery for quite sometime. There’s such anger and vitriol (and humour and profanity) in the delivery. It makes for quite a thrilling experience.
Having listened to a stripped back electronic effort the night before, Sam Duckworth’s efforts are a bit of a contrast. In his last set in Cardiff as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, he played the full set of Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager. There was a good article in the Guide this week on why bands playing their classic LPs live isn’t a good thing, and whilst by and large I agree, Duckworth neatly avoids the predictable aspect by mixing up the order and messing about with the drum n bass heavy backing tracks. In and amongst the lyrical naivety (he was after all a teenager, and a more talented one than me), there are some fantastic song arrangements. All in all, a strong trip down memory lane before he retires the Get Cape Wear Cape Fly monicker.
So now I’m off to recover and rest. But it was worth it.