TANGERINECAT + LEG PUPPY + THE PINK DIAMOND REVUE – GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON 2.7.22
It’s a hot and steamy Saturday night in Brighton and thank God there’s a really decent Post Punk Electronica gig to go to. The venue of choice by local promoters Blue Door Music Productions is the ever-popular Green Door Store and on the bill are Tangerinecat (which is stylized as tAngerinecAt), Julia-Sophie, Leg Puppy and The Pink Diamond Revue.
This is the second of currently a trio of events going under the banner of ‘Taste The Floor’ which is aimed at promoting underground Post Punk, Industrial and Electronic music acts and is thankfully funded by Arts Council England. The first of these events ran last month and the next one will be on Saturday 10th September – details HERE.
This evening, I arrived in plenty of time in order to exchange hugs with friends and acquaintances and to whet my whistle, prior to the opening act donning the stage at 7:44pm.
First up was The Pink Diamond Revue who I rate very highly indeed, especially after they came down to Brighton from Reading at the end of May in order to play a very special live performance at the extremely successful Jordan Mooney Memorial Charity Concert.
Once you have seen a live set from this outfit, it’s very unlikely that you will ever forget having seen them. They are most certainly eccentric, captivating and totally enjoyable in a retro spangly gold late 1950s LSD-inspired tripadelica kinda way, or as they see it “A world where ‘60s film soundtracks meet sampladelic acid house in a baggy-punk rathole somewhere in Interzone”.
The ‘band members’ could not be more different if you tried! For instance they are fronted by ‘ACiD DoL’ – who this evening is sporting a new sparkly frock especially for the occasion – guitar banging ‘Thin White Duke’ Tim Lane and in the background is the metronomic drummer Rob Courtman Stock.
The Pink Diamond Revue sound is unique and borrows from a host of differing styles that when married together make a perfect match. There’s the electro-amalgam of 1987-89 ‘Music For The Masses’ era Depeche Mode; the electro-psych vibe of TVAM; ‘Peter Gunn’ flavour Art Of Noise; a snippet of Sigue Sigue Sputnik cut-ups and lashings of Sheep On Drugs imagery and sounds that the likes of Marc Almond would adore.
We are treated to an eight number set which lasts exactly half an hour (7:44pm to 8:14pm) The trio take to a darkened Green Door Store stage and initially the only lighting was emanating from the images projected onto the large white sheet at the rear of the stage. The sound is crisp and nicely contained within the box style former stable room. It was pleasing to see Tim keep turning around during opener ‘New Kind Of Life’, in order to turn his guitar amp up and up and up!
As ever, Tim splits his time between throwing thousand yard stares and rock star poses as well as attending to ACiD DoL’s attire and poses – you see ACiD DoL is actually a mannequin! During the performance, various hats and sunglasses are donned on the ‘lady’, but no distracting changes of clothing this evening, as she looks just great in her new retro dress.
I note that Tim has gone for a new striking yellow eye make-up this evening, which accompanies his slender tattooed physique. The guy truly looks like a star! You know some people just have ‘it’, and he has! Conversely, the man of mystery in the background on drums (Rob) blends into the background. I’m sure he wants it that way too! For the duration of the show, one’s eyes flit between Tim, the backing films and ACiD DoL, whilst the music pumps out at us. Both Tim and ACiD DoL sport the same chiselled facial features, and in another dimension, one might surmise that they are related in some way.
The guitar, drums and electronic sounds were certainly booming around the room this evening, which was most pleasing. There are no live vocals in any of their performances, they rely on pre-programmed cut-ups of retro vocals and vocoder robot style, as in “Dance At The Discotheque”. It was another fantastic set!
The Pink Diamond Revue setlist:
‘New Kind Of Life’
‘Don’t Lose Your Head’
‘The Fuzz Guitar’
‘At The Discotheque’
‘Miss Lonely Hearts’
After a 22 minute liquid refreshment interlude, it was time for South London’s Leg Puppy to entertain and dazzle the eager crowd for just over half an hour, from 8:36pm to 9:07pm with half a dozen varying tunes. This was my second experience of the outfit, the previous having been last September. I was therefore more informed as to what to expect this evening, although tonight the performers were different from last year. The guitarist has gone and there was a different lady on stage this time around. Mr Leg Puppy was obviously in attendance!
It’s fair to say that not everyone will get where Leg Puppy are coming from, but to give you a clue of their humour, they state “Leg Puppy are the biggest band in the world called Leg Puppy”. The seeds were obviously sewn on a diet of Alan Vega and Martin Rev aka Suicide, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty aka The KLF, Section 25, Aphex Twin and the like. Charlie Brooker thinks outside of the box with his provoking ‘Black Mirror’ TV series and Leg Puppy are doing the same but with music. They are rather prolific with their work too, with no less than 38 releases found on their Bandcamp page with no obvious drop in quality either.
I enjoyed my second Leg Puppy helping more this time around. It was less scary clown and strange bunny rabbits and more edgy S&M dominatrix style. This is a step in the right direction visually, as during the opener ‘Ritual’, Mr Leg Puppy was led around the audience on a thin leash whilst hitting a triangle and Arabesque secret cult society style music boomed out of the PA. There was thankfully no mention of radishes, unlike another outfit who shall remain nameless. The performance had begun!
The first track they played whilst standing on the stage, featured keyboards and programmed parts as well as live vocals. This tune was known to me as I purchased the original version on 7” back in the late 1970’s and now the track has rightly been flagged up as having revolutionised electronic music with its punk aesthetic, stark sound and dark subject matter – the tune in question being ‘Warm Leatherette’ by The Normal aka Daniel Miller. It was the very first release on his Mute record label. Unbeknown to me back at the time, I had also purchased singles and an album by the Silicon Teens, which was also Daniel Miller in disguise. Tonight’s Leg Puppy version is much nearer the wonderful Trent Reznor, Jeordie White, Peter Murphy and Atticus Ross rendition of the song which saw the light of day on the Nine Inch Nails website a few years ago. I have to honestly say that it was worth coming out tonight just to hear this song and everything else was a bonus!
The heavy electro synth sounds flowed throughout the Leg Puppy set, which was most pleasing and the following number ‘Johnny Pigman’ certainly had the BPM’s set on overdrive like a Sigue Sigue Sputnik ‘Be Bop a Lula’ Gene Vincent/Elvis Presley impersonation clashing with a Cult 45 meets Suicide’s ‘Frankie Teardrop’.
I looked around the audience…..I could see the expression on the punter’s faces asking “Who the hell are these masked performers? Have they been transported from Andy Warhol’s Factory on 860 Broadway from 1974?
In reality Leg Puppy’s performance was where f*ckart meets music, orgasmal screaming’s (that would have made Donna Summer or Jane Birkin blush as in tune ‘NDA’) overlaid by deep synth beats that would most certainly entertain any post nuclear war dystopian robot. We were released from their spell at 9:04pm,
Leg Puppy setlist:
‘Warm Leatherette (034)’
‘Speak Talk Speak’
It should have been the turn of Julia-Sophie to follow on from Leg Puppy this evening with her mix of the hot, liquid, cool and electric avant-pop, laden with spectral vocals and ethereal refrains that sees her a member of the sisterhood that features the likes of FKA Twigs, Grimes, Half-Waif and Natasha Khan. She had travelled down from Oxford to be with us, but her equipment had sadly given up the ghost and so she was unable to perform for us this evening. You can check her out on her ‘linktree’.
After exactly a half an hour break, it was time for tonight’s final act to grace the raised Green Door Store stage, thus the duo of tAngerinecAt were here to entertain us for just over three-quarters of an hour from 9:34pm until 10:20pm, with their set which would seriously work equally as well at Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig, Germany and at the Nestinari event at Bulgari in Bulgaria, where people walk barefoot on the smouldering coals, accompanied by a special folk melody and dancing a folk dance.
There’s something primordial and ethereal about the music of tAngerinecAt. It comes at you from a gap in the underworld like that found in the ‘Stranger Things’ TV series. It has that intriguing otherworldliness that many may not understand. Is it the sound of our planet through the darkened ages or something to accompany the monks and nuns at their convents in deepest Transylvania, Romania? It’s certainly not music that anyone who is solely English could ever make by themselves. Having said that, 50% of the outfit is Paul Chilton, but the remaining half is Eugene Purpurovsky, a Ukrainian by birth, but thankfully based over here now. They both met in Ukraine several years back and now work out of Wales. Eugene has lost family and friends in the ongoing conflict in ‘their’ country and one can only imagine what that feels like. One would assume that this remorse and feeling of loss filters its way through into ‘their’ music compositions.
tAngerinecAt cite their wide ranging influences from artists like Auktyon, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Gesaffelstein, Son Lux, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, My Dying Bride, to the ethnic music of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains and the films of Sergey Parajanov. If ever there was a band that you could select to support Laibach or to suggest to a documentary maker who is producing a film about Pripyat, then the music of tAngerinecAt would be the natural selection.
Eugene and Paul are both songwriters, producers, composers, and multi-instrumentalists, but this evening Eugene takes care of vocals – which at times remind me of lost New Romantic artist Ronny of ‘To Have and Have Not’ / ‘Blue Cabaret’ fame – and also Hurdy-gurdy – an instrument rarely witnessed at the pubs and clubs of Brighton. In fact, I believe it’s my first encounter with one. The nearest on recollection being a harmonium played about 40 years ago by Nico of Velvet Underground fame at the defunct New Regent club, which stood on the eastern side of the bottom of West Street, Brighton. Meanwhile, Paul is in charge of the extreme ends of the technology that includes the Apple Laptop, the keys and down to the whistle.
tAngerinecAt have been together for around 15 years and yet this evening was my first encounter with them! Yes I DID apologise to them! Their set consisted of seven of the eight compositions found on their brand new ‘Glass’ album, with only the final number ‘Spell’ being omitted. They have said that ‘Glass’ has made them proud because “it’s our best work yet and the fruit of many hours of labour”.
This evening there was no video backdrop with these guys as the hypnotic music was speaking for itself. It was Eastern European darkwave with a difference. They need to play in an ancient castle at dusk in autumn in order to get the full benefit of their mesmerising sound. It was wonderful stuff and Eugene (in long EBM black boots) certainly felt every note as ‘they’ closed ‘their’ eyes during the vocal delivery, talk about getting in the zone. Paul wasn’t fooling me though, ‘they’ were not wearing red laced up style Ramones pumps at all, it was fancy socks – rumbled!
tAngerinecAt were equally well received as the previous two acts this evening. Clearly Blue Door Music Productions know what they are doing!
‘House Of Shards’
‘Something Broke Inside’
‘Mass Of The Black Cats’