ART BRUT + RAKETKANON + FRAUDS + HAGGARD CAT + GAFFA TAPE SANDY + FOXC**T – TUFNELL PARK DOME & BOSTON MUSIC ROOM, LONDON 17.05.19
Tonight’s ‘Top Of The Alcopops’ gig is essentially a showcase for the roster of Alcopop Records, which is a wondrously varied thing. On their Facebook page they list Brighton’s very own Bella Union records as their first influence, and so they clearly know where it’s at!
There are bands performing on two stages, so there is a degree of commuting between the two. The first band I see in the Music Room is the provocatively named Foxc**t. They are not necessarily the most musically proficient band that I’ve ever seen, but they make up for that with bucket loads of attitude. Their lyrics are contemporary, including a song about Crossrail. They repeatedly chant “Foxc**t Top Of The Pops!!!” while a guy beats a violin with its bow. Not virtuosi then, but nothing if not entertaining.
Next up in the Dome are Gaffa Tape Sandy who are punky and shouty. They’re a powerful, tight band with great tunes. Worth checking out if you haven’t heard them.
In the Music Room Haggard Cat are a punky duo with a metallic edge. They make a good noise, but at the moment there’s nothing to mark them out from a number of similar bands around at the moment. Possibly still a bit of a ‘work in progress’.
Frauds follow Haggard Cat. I first saw them at the Cro-Cro Land Festival, and having seen them for a second time, I can confirm quite categorically that they are clearly insane. The drummer spends most of the gig advertising the guitarist’s lessons on his instrument. When somebody shouts between songs “Do you know Bb7???” the drummer replies “Could you leave the humourous remarks to us please?” On top of all this, they can really play!!! Top entertainment all round.
Raketkanon from Belgium describe themselves as a “noise rock band”. This in no way does them justice. Their first song is quite laid back. They have a keen sense of dynamics, with lots of ‘loud and quiet’ moments, and one keyboard solo verges on prog rock. So much more than a noise rock band.
Headliners Art Brut begin with an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ before frontman Eddie Argos takes to the stage. They start their set proper with what are possibly their two best songs: ‘Formed A Band’ and ‘My Little Brother’. Eddie tells is that the little brother in question is at the bar. He doesn’t make himself known.
Eddie Argos orates rather than sings, which is probably a good thing, as his lyrics are worth listening to. They are darkly humourous, ironic, and in the case of ‘Emily Kane’ laden with no little pathos.
The main set ends with the title track of their most recent album, ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!’ And they are absolutely deservedly called back for two encores. This band utterly deserve to be far bigger than they are. For God’s sake buy their records and go and see them live!!! Just a suggestion…….
There were several other acts taking part at ‘Top Of The Alcopops’ that we were unable to see because clashes with timings, but to ensure they also get a mention, they were The Lovely Eggs, Dream Nails, Jim Lee and Michael Legge.
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