London Highbury Garage

Suicide have managed to keep their edge across the decades and this qualifies them for the title 'vastly influential'...

London Highbury Garage

Like designer perfume from the local chemist, Chicks On Speed come at us from three different cities, London, New York and Hamburg. And like those potent scents, what is initially fresh and cool about them rapidly becomes a little nauseating. Tonight should be a decade-blending experience of avant-noise terror and artifice, but Chicks On Speed - despite the hair, the uniforms the back projections and, er, songs about hero modernist architect Le Corbusier - have worn thin very quickly. Not unlike an art student's finely constructed installation that has quickly fallen apart and broken up over the summer holidays.

Suicide, on the other hand, have no such problems with longevity. The art noise electro pioneering duo of Alan Vega and Martin Rev have been at this since their days on the edges of the New York art scene of the '70s. The programme has remained pretty much the same on tonight's evidence with Rev dragging and wrenching dissonant noise from his electronics while Vega pounces and shouts odd Beat-like verse on top. Vega has lost none of his love of fucking things up. Tonight's rendition of the classic 'Ghostrider' is almost entirely unrecognisable as he blasts through it with a huge grin on his face. 'Cheree' and the inevitable encore 'Rocket USA' are more familiar.

Suicide have managed to keep their edge across the decades and this qualifies them for the title 'vastly influential'. From Soft Cell to Throbbing Gristle to Primal Scream (some of whom are in the audience tonight). A brilliant and bizarre example of how to grow old gracefully.

Neil Thomson

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