Ah Islington Academy, the only music venue in a shopping centre. That’s where we were on Tuesday to catch Twin Atlantic on the second date of the Free-Ze Tour.
It’s been quite a while since I saw a really good opening act and I have to say that Tuesday’s gig did little to end the drought.
We arrived just after the start of Arcane Roots’ set to find them heartily attempting to be Biffy Clyro. Unfortunately Biffy Clyro are already Biffy Clyro and they’re quite good at being Biffy Clyro. Arcane Roots, just aren’t and the strange little wanders into Incubus didn’t help much either. I might be wrong since a fair junk of the audience seemed to be loving them. I just wasn’t.
We then got Dinosaur Pile-Up attempting to be Weezer. It was quite fun to start out with but after three songs we realised that every single one of their songs sounded identical and had blurred into one endless whinge, with properly adolescent lyrics. They weren’t horrible – I just don’t think I’d care if I never heard them again.
This is the first time I’ve seen Twin Atlantic really touring Free hard and I have to say it was encouraging. There’s a new confidence in their delivery and they appear almost to have “relaxed”. This could have translated badly, because you never want to hear that a band has lost its edge, but this is more of a case of them feeling more comfortable in their own skins. The new stuff has more polish and while Vivarium and earlier offerings were laudable in their aggression, the band is definitely growing up. It did make me smile that the audience seemed most excited by the early tracks, showing that they’ve been loyal. In the past the band has been openly derisive about London audiences but it seems the endless moshing, massive sing-alongs and on-cue crowd surfing might just have changed their minds. Long may Sam McTrusty leave London venues with a smile on his face… now if he could just remember all the words. Go and see Twin Atlantic. You will like them. I promise.
Last night Josh, Niamh, Carina and I went to see Spinerette at Islington Academy.
We missed the first opening act but made it in time For Future Of The Left. What an experience. It’s hard to know what to say about the music. It was noisy, angry and somewhat abstract but also kind of cool in places. The lyrics were absolutely bizarre though take for example:
- Colin is a pussy, a very big pussy (complete with strange bass guitarist dancing)
- We are the fossils, you are the fossils
- You need Satan more than he needs you
All of this was delivered with an almost religious fervour by their singer who looked so enraged that I feared he might at any point leap off the stage and twat someone with his guitar. If you ever get the opportunity to see this band, go. At the very least it will be unforgettable. I for one will never forget the onstage banter. Once you have heard about “power wanking” and “cock cannons” I don’t think life can ever be the same…
Towards the end of the set Niamh, Carina and I decided to go for a smoke. We were minding our own business where we were set upon by some girl who wanted to be our friend. Any regular gig-goer will have encountered some of these. They appear suddenly and just start talking as if they’ve known you their whole life. While I love making friends at gigs (I mean I met Josh in a MCR queue and he and I met Niamh at Reading), the slightly schitzy cling-on with no social filter is more frightening than encouraging. Especially if they’re telling machine gun stories and their own friends seem to be too embarrassed to be seen with them.
Now for those who don’t know, Spinnerette is fronted by Brody Dalle former frontwoman of punk legends, The Distillers, erstwhile girlfriend of Tim Armstrong and currently married to the infamous Josh Homme. The woman is a living fucking legend. I tell you all this so that you can try and imagine just how excited everyone was to see her. And with good reason since she is breathtakingly cool and sexy and intense. With Brody’s unmistakable deep, gravely voice (the first time I heard The Distillers I thought she was a man), Spinnerette could never be anything except exceptional but the fact that they’ve brought this deep, bluesy grimy punk noise means that everyone left hungry for the album and even more in love with Brody than before. The only downside to the gig was the idiots who kept yelling for Distillers songs. Grow up! That’s like going to a Brand New gig and shouting for Taking Back Sunday. It’s just NOT cool. Josh, of course, left with a drumstick. Josh is a drumstick magnet… not in the same way I am a drumstick magnet though… he catches them with his hands!
When I grow up I want to be Brode Dalle