Saturday, 8 December 2012

live review: some songs side-by-side album launch @ stereo, 29th november

Since Some Songs Side-By-Side is the debut release from Stereo’s fledgling record label, the bar’s basement space seems the natural place to launch it. Along with co-labels Watts of Goodwill and RE:PEATER, they’ve coaxed three-quarters of the compilation’s contributors out tonight (Muscles of Joy and Sacred Paws being the only absentees), providing a compressed taster of the box set’s contents and affirming why each act was invited to participate in the project in the first place.

Things start on the floor, with the room edging and craning to catch sight of Palms belting through a short set of terse hooks and galvanic, rough-hewn post-punk. With six bands to squeeze in, there’s no dawdling: a swift changeover and The Rosy Crucifixion are plugged in and laying down tremolo-hammering rock n roll of a surf and greaser vintage, making an old set of influences sound very fresh indeed.

Gummy Stumps follow in a fashion entirely their own: Colin Stewart’s gruff barks and the eclectic racket strummed and drummed beneath remain a singular composite, with Silver Sliver their performance’s craggy crest. Things move up on to the stage for Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gates Lock Pickers, plying their strutting rhythm and blues with panache. A splash of Psy in Mary Hell turns heads, while The Grace of God is a downcast delight.

While there have been drop ins and drop outs throughout the evening, Organs of Love are the first act to play to a noticeably less attentive crowd. But it doesn’t last long, as the duo’s brand of moody, off-kilter electro extends wispy tendrils to refocus drifters. Finally, Tut Vu Vu bring the event to a close, with their wonky and wild fusion of polyrhythmic jazz and playful prog-rock undertones crowning an excellent night with its final flourish.

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