Running Am-UK with Baby Venom: Full Body Rash

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MP3: Blossom Dearie – I Like London In The Rain

It fucking rains in England.

Shoot for the stars and punch the moon in the face.

Alright, lets play some catchup… We spent an extra night in Exeter. Awoke to a slight drizzle. Soaked us to the bone as we walked a 1/2 a mile to the train station. 3.5 hours to London. Fake jerky and fruit leather all day. We’re sweatin’ we won’t make our Brighton show. Dave’s friend, Matt, rents a car and picks us up from the Waterloo train station in London. We met with Benjamin beforehand. Him and Cassie just spent the past several nights working diligently on our “Stop Scratching” tape. Quick 2 Brighton! Great Escape or Great Trap?

No street signs. One way streets. The roundabout. Circles? What are circles?

The San Francisco of England. Hilly and gay. We played Revenge.. equipped with a nice weiner catwalk. Flamboyant security guards. I wanted 2 set my drums upon the head of the cock… Dave and Sarah flanking me at the back.. Standing ready for aural intercourse with the masses… and wow, they sure showed up. Despite us being extremely late (showing up 10minutes b4 the doors opened), and going on without soundcheck. The show was fun and met with a positive response though the crowd was rather somber and reserved.


Time for a tag-team post a la site-contributors Alex Mudge/Caleb Moore back in October…

David C. Section here, ready to give you a run-through of the 3 London bands on the No Pain In Pop (remember the name) compilation you WILL be hearing more from in 2009…

Trailer Trash Tracys: Even before Pitchfork gave them the nod I was into their song, “Strangling Good Guys.” Songs began simply enough, many times seeming familiar to shoegaze of the mid-80s/early 90s, Lou Reed or Suicide, but would quickly layer, sweeping in like warm seafoam waves; really quite a fitting sound for a venue overlooking Brighton’s famous beach and brightly-lit pier. Their Debbie Harry-esque vocalist, Susanne, provided a soothingly sedate melodic center to the drone of mid-range guitar as what could be seen of the sunlight faded. The bass and snare timbres of the trigger-pad drums were certainly reminiscent of MBV’s cut-and-paste constructive approach, and chipped through the mid-range guitar undertoe. However, most impressive and expressive were Adam Jaffrey’s basslines, whose grimey garage tones and placement oftentimes independent of the drums really drove the TTT’s sound.

A Grave with No Name: This London trio took the stage with a scaled-back drum set-up and looked similar to a band that might have opened up for Mudhoney in the early 90s. Their sound did not reflect the grunge aesthetic, with the singer’s delicately melodic vocal range certainly cutting through and floating above the cacophony. The band appeared to be having a rough night with the sound, as were every other band to be honest. Although the audience, myself included, enjoyed all the acts, the sound here wasn’t great, even when attempting to capture the more lofi aesthetics of the first three bands. AGWNN seemed particularly frustrated, starting and stopping songs. Overall, it was still an enjoyable slice of sludgey fuzzed-out rock.

The XX: The nights’ headliners, London four-piece The XX, seemed to bring many devoted fans up to the front of the stage. Nathan noticed their “super ugly hip London haircuts,” which seemed to harken back to high and tight, tiered bowl-cut fade, unisexx hairstyles my mom tried to shield me from in my impressionable pre-K days. Sedate melancholy beats within atmospheric pop dance songs, set off by some cool finger-touch drums stage right and solid male/female vocal interplay. A bit like contemporaries CocoRosie or Telepathe, but with a sombre R&B duet kind of feel and not devoid of ebullience. As I’ve said, the sound and equipment here at Revenge was not the greatest, but, following a microphone cutting out near the end of the set, a forced mic-share between the tall and slender male bassist and the petite female guitarist was a beautful electro-goth moment if ever there was one.

Afterthoughts on Brighton, the No Pain In Pop stage at Revenge, and The Great Escape: Not enough time! I really wish we’d been able to venture around a bit more that night, or at least been able to see our friends Gentle Friendly play before Zach Hill of Hella, and Black Lips on Thursday (*I’ve since heard that Jared is in jail in the UK at the moment for repeatedly hurling a sandbag at a car*) or some of the groups going on at the weekend like Dananananaykroyd (wait, was that enough “ans?”). We were set to follow Daniel of GF over to the Abe Vigoda show, but we missed it and instead went to a greasy spoon 24-hour caf to eat our very first meal of the day at 11:00pm.

Make it a point to track down the most recent No Pain In Pop compilation, featuring our own homegrown talent, Ponytail! This is a great independent label/promotions venture whose “top brass” have been really supportive of us (with Tom K and Kev even letting us crash with them in their packed hostel room that night! Thank you again, beastmates). Taking in the seaside air was refreshing after a long, arduous journey, but it was too cold, drizzly, and windy to even consider going to the beach, riding around on vespas, or hitting up the pier; still, between seeing the bands at the NPIP stage, spotting the drummer of the Mae Shi harrassing a bouncer twice his size outside a party he was supposed to DJ, and flying by the seat of our pants and living by the skin of our gnashing teeth, Brighton did not disappoint.

Stay tuned for our review of the Midlands weekend, Deerhunter, and future London shows with TTT’s, GF, Abe Vigoda, The Mae Shi, and many more!!!

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