Guitar Evening

Kiki Smith's "Wolf Girl"
Kiki Smith's "Wolf Girl"

Last night I went to see a metal triple bill at the Luminaire: Wolf People, Graveyard and Witchcraft.  The venue was way too small and was oversold.  Swedish metalheads were crowded in with hipsters still in their office-wear.  Why do they pay for a £12 ticket and drink £4 crap drinks all night while trying to shout over a heavy metal band?  Isn’t there an easier way to earn some lifestyle cred?

Graveyard were dull and painfully loud, even for a metal gig.  They clearly had the amps set to 12.  It wasn’t that thundering base loudness of Mastadon, etc.  It was this weird, treble-y, hornets-in-your-ears kind of sound.  If I am going to have tinnitus the next day it better be for something good.  Even though Wolf People were supporting them you could see the Graveyard guys watching Wolf People open for them and they seemed worried.

Wolf People are the only London band I’ve ever seen live (It seems London now has to import most of its rock and roll…I have many theories for this…).  Wolf People are melancholy, lyrical and stormy–the flute-player wasn’t there, so they sounded less Jethro-Tully and more like a tightly spectral CCR.

Witchcraft–freaky Swedish wizards–were haunting and slightly dorky.  They actually did a Roky Erickson song–White Faces (one of his “Horror Rock” songs and a favourite of mine.)  Spooky Texas rock by way of Swedish wildmen…brings out the white of the devil in me.


This weekend I went to Shoreditch with my friend Kate for a noise show there. There were 6 or so bands playing, and I only stayed for a few, having an unfortunate “how will I get home at 11:30 from here” moment, even though I really wanted to see Jackie-O Motherfucker. It sucks to live way out in Hanwell and miss all the good things. Anyway, The venue was really cozy and reminded me of places in SF that I loved. It made me wish I lived over on that side of town in Hackney.

Highlights were paranormal hi-jinx of The Polly Shang Kwan Band. Everyone should go listen to Victim and Survivor on their MySpace page now to hear something that sounds like the aural landscape of Walpugisnacht and the birthing of werewolves. I can’t believe I just told you to go to MySpace. You know it’s good if I’m doing that.

The duo with the unfortunate name of Talibam! blew me away with their touretted-jazz version of Smoke on the Water. Here you can see them playing a morphing version of A Love Supreme:

This was someplace else, but you get the idea. Dig the guy’s panther shirt. He was wearing that on Sunday, too. Rad.

My evening ended with a bang, thanks to the punk-lounge-cabaret act that followed the snore-fest that was Sounds of the Exquisite Corpse– (who all sat on the floor so no one could see what they were doing). Anyway, I was just getting ready to leave when I saw two American dudes in 60’s suits with a drum set tucked away next to the vendor table. One of them was the drummer from Talibam!. Pretty soon they’re wailing out Girl from Ipanema and I want to marry them both. And they were heckled by hipsters, which made me want to marry them again. They were a bit like James Chance by way of clown school.


Here they are playing in waist-deep Coney Island seawater.