Upset The Rhythm Presents: The Babies - Camp Basement, London 17/03/11
A hundred people or so take sanctuary from the novelty Guinness hats and bleary eyed crowds celebrating St Paddy's day on Old Street for the sweaty dark dank walls of Camp Basement. First on tonight, Northampton trio (but tonight a duo) Anguish Sandwich's send a ripple of about being a "poor man's White Stripes" across the crowd with their boy-girl duo set-up and over-reliance on distortion. Although, their drummer makes Meg White look like John Bonham in comparison what the band lack in technicality they make up for in hooks and a sheer enthusiasm. Their first song is a loveable fuggy ode to being in a basement reminiscent of early Weezer and the self declared "funk for funk's sake" shows that they're hopefully capable of greater things.
Nathan Hewitt's Cheatahs, are the most highly anticipated act of the evening having released some deliciously fuzz coated 7's on Young And Lost Club and Male Bonding's Paradise Vendors. So, it's disappointing that tonight backed by a full band he chooses to strip back the roughness to reveal an alien smooth acoustic gloss. Tracks like the usually outstanding 'Warrior' become a gooey-eyed ode to Bright Eyes that wouldn't be out of place soundtracking a heartbreak scene in 90210. Tonight, it's tempting to agree with Hewitts' MySpace moniker, "cheatahssuck."
The cross-breeding of Vivian Girls and Woods has produced the bouncing Babies. Here tonight, on the back of the Woods show at Shepherds Bush, the band is no way showing any lethargy for their first show on English shores. Playing the raucous Violent Femmes-alike sing-alongs of 'Meet Me In The City' and 'Breaking The Law', the band are more vibrant and fleshed out live taking the whimsical folk of Woods and the raw ragged edge of Vivian Girls. Standout track 'Wild Boy 2', from their self-titled debut album, becomes even more urgent and anguished as Cassie coos gentle harmonies to Morby's building desperation.
The crowd, bar one heckler dancing like your dad after one too many sherries complete in a full tweed romper-like suit, will the band on even going on to sing 'happy birthday' to Carrie who has just turned 25. Finishing with the hedonistic dumb punk of 'Personality', it's a shame that they'll have to eventually go back to their day job.
There's something sickeningly familiar when you launch yourself into the first track of Cheatahs Coared EP. As soon as that first chord is struck above the thumping bass drum heavy intro, you'll be hearing the song in your head a second before it reaches your ears. [read more]
"Seeing Brooklyn four-piece The Babies on stage for the first time came as quite a surprise as the ‘super-group’ were just that; four very distinctive members who look like could've stumbled into the green room and decided to form a band five minutes before falling onto the Lexington stage." [read more]
Six degrees of separation; the idea that everyone on the planet is linked to anyone else by six people. Well I don't know about you, but as far as I'm aware I have yet to find my link to Kanye West or in fact Beyonce. Maybe I should just join an indie band then because it seems this is one industry where knowing absolutely everyone is just a way of life. [read more]
Sans is the second release this year by Nathan Hewitt's brainchild Cheatahs. At first it was a project that started off as a solo venture, Hewitt just wanted to write songs and not just be whacking away on the old guitar as he was doing in bands before Cheatahs (These were Little Death and more recently Male Bonding). Things kind of fell into place for Hewitt as he no longer was on his own. [read more]