the Water Rats, Kings Cross
It rained. Without food, I left work, changed clothes and hopped on a train to London. These moments really are testing. For the first time ever I used a train toilet. Boy is that tough. How do you piss when you're swaying from side to side and there is a full length mirror opposite you displaying your lacklustre manhood going "no, please not here".
I soon got to Kings Cross and as soon as I arrived at Kings Cross I realised I had no idea where I was going and it was beginning to drizzle. I wandered (correctly) and this woman stopped me. Naively I thought she wanted a fag or something. She said "would you like to come see our ladies?". It clicked immediately. I smirked, slightly flattered, and began to laugh her off. She suggested "you can have me" which made it even more absurd (I was a gentleman, resisting the urge to point out she looked rank and diseased, "put in some effort you slut"). I walked away laughing in the stylee of Bruce Willis as she screamed "don't go". I was pretty piss proud about how coolly I dealt with it, a few years ago I'd have probably burst out into tears. I tried to decide why she had picked on me, my mind wondered as to whether I looked wealthy, desperate or a basic good time. I decided that it was probably due to a little of each (yeah right). Still this experience was nothing compared to my friend's friend and a chiropodist.
Got to the venue, got into the venue, both OK. It was my first time inside the Water Rats. S'alright. Still having not eaten I had beer as a substitute and got loud and shouty.
This matched Red Monkey who I actually thought were pretty cool, unlike my friends. They had an aggressive bass sound and their drums caused a pain in my throat. It was indeed the bass drum. The vocals had a nasty delivery and edge and I liked the way the female ones were screamed and stretched in preference to sung. The he guitarist was memorable too for his visual antics. But for as memorable as the bass sound was, the guitars didn't quite kick in the same way, sounding tame in comparison and leaving a disappointing void. It was energetic, which is always good, and blunt and a performance that sounds how their interviews suggest it would.
My third time seeing Billy Mahonie turned out to be a real disappointment. I still really can't make up my mind about them. My friend said he didn't like the way the were all playing together (or rather were not, as in too individually). Personally, in a way I'm just sick of this kind of music, to the listener it often sounds pretty indulgent. The guitarist was monging out to sounds only mong. Hoon was really welcomed as the remainder of the set didn't seem to benefit or fully utilise double bass. In this respect you could see them working against each other rather than together. One slow song even reminded me of Walking On The Moon by you know who (The Pigs). The minor blow out at the climax was much-needed as the guitar was put through wah and given some spike.
Blonde Redhead came onstage all wearing red. As with before when I saw them Kazu looked and sounded amazing. The songs sound very different live than on record and in the case of the most recent, for me that meant much better. I've found the last album kind of tough to stomach and hard to get through. The most abstract of songs there are totally painful when they put pay to any momentum the record begins to gain. Tonight we were served said songs but the effect was less frustrating. On this showing, song wise Blonde Redhead probably played everything I could have wanted. Symphony Of Treble and Kazuality rubbed shoulders with the best part(s) of In The Expression and although the gel was disrupting it wasn't spoiling. Futurism Vs Passeism was the highlight but most songs featuring Kazu's astonishing vocals were highlights including the destructive In The Expression, which was several times improved live. Time flew by quickly and the curfew was smashed to bits but the crowd kept pushing for more from them. Blonde Redhead sound very original and are obviously from another planet. For all the Sonic Youth comparisons, you realise they are pushing things in their own. They performance was very in sync, like ESP was in the house.
On the train ride home I nearly got into a fight with some guy in a suit, listening to HARD rock on his walkman. And my friend reading about other planet Sell Out bands claiming to be No Sell Out bands in NME, didn't even notice.
[Taken from No Pictures 10]