Thursday, May 21, 2009

Support systems

Thanks for your contributions. We think we have the measure of you now. Now, we will tell you about a couple of bands we've seen recently in non-headlining situations.

So last Friday night we went to see Johnny Foreigner for the sixth time. Just when you think you've got the measure of this band, they go and tweak it up a notch - some brutal new songs and some brutalisations of the old ones - "turn on the real drums" is not so much a lyric as a catalyst for localised humanity to explode in a ball of positive slamming energy these days. Assuming you're not reading this on your futuristic mobile equipment in York tonight you've got two more chances to see them on this tour, given the Northampton date - which we were going to, damn Roadmender - has been postponed to 3rd July. They're doing a few festivals, but only Hop Farm and Y Not are confirmed so far.

But let us look aside from JoFo for one post and talk about one of their supports. Although we've mentioned them in the Sweep before, Kingston-upon-Thames trio Tubelord always seemed to fly just below our radar, but twenty minutes of an opening set put paid to that semi-ignorance. Skilful, hyper-kinetic, impassioned, everything we like in a modern British guitar band, and a plastic pig head to boot. As well as said night's headliners they take inspiration from Minus The Bear and the Kinsella lot in the tricksy time sigs and athletic guitar intricacies via a early Biffy Clyro-style power rock trio dynamic, crescendos, hooks and plaintive moments scattered liberally around. They're going to go places. They may even already be there.

A couple of nights later The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart popped by and made all sorts of sense of their album. Let's get this straight - while there's little point denying that the Wedding Present, Ecstacy & Strawberry Wine era MBV and the Shop Assistants don't figure highly in this sound, they're as "twee" as Slayer. Live they're a band with a narrow focused desire to bring the pop kids the fuzzbomb hooks, as much Bandwagonesque as C86, getting the job done and the pedals stuck on high.

So it's not really surprising that their support are a band who also like their distortion pedals and three minute sense of purpose. The Manhattan Love Suicides have too been mentioned on here before at shorter length, but their purpose is worth expanding on as much as it's to the point - take proper pop melodies, apply a gloss of similar fuzzy dynamic, then slap a ton of effects on top and get it all done in, here, seventeen minutes. Older readers will remember the Jesus & Mary Chain at this point, but their faux-disaffected stance somehow makes old tricks new. We swear, the guitar level started at fairly punishing levels and was being turned up after every song. That, despite looking like the Velvets and Nico gone even more to seed in the CD booklet, they're from Leeds and not Brooklyn means you've heard of the similar but inferior A Place To Bury Strangers and Crystal Stilts more than you know the MLS, but that's fashion vagaries for you.

The Manhattan Love Suicides - Kick It Back
From Burnt Out Landscapes

And as a further line of enquiry Caroline and Darren used to be in this band, who had this song on a Fierce Panda compilation (which for full marks also includes Hofman, who turned inexorably into the Broken Family Band, and post-Kenickie outfit Rosita) that at the time we were obsessed by for quite a little while:

Pop Threat - Fallen Spike

1 comment:

Matt said...

One of Tubelord was working in our office until recently. I knew he was one of Tubelord because I was sat in the toilet one day and overheard a conversation in which one person said "so what's the name of your band" and the other said "Tubelord". And now I look at the pictures I note that one of Tubelord does look like someone who's been working in our office until fairly recently. I probably should have looked this up sooner, really.

I nearly hit Bill Oddie with a revolving door once too. Our office is amazing.

I was at the launch gig for that Fierce Panda EP compilation thing as well. As I remember Pop Threat played and weren't very interesting, although their song was by some distance the best thing on the EP.