Colorado songwriter mixes obscenity and emotional heft with huge pop melodies
The Ordinary Boys/The Others/The Subways/Eastern Lane : London Astoria
No matter how hard everyone else tries, one band was always going to steal tonight’s [b]ShockWaves NME Awards Show[/b]...
At the agreed signal – an air-raid siren bassline and a rallying cry of “This iz fow awl da pee-pawl!” – the 4321 Kamikaze Mental Bastard Skydiving Attack Attack Attack Division commence bombardment manoeuvres. Trained in Venue Ejection Avoidance techniques, they go over the top in waves of suicide lemming death diving. Like Dambusters gone indie, the Invasion Of The Body Slammers is underway…
On the night when the flyer kids should be handing out restraining orders, in ShockWaves NME Award gig terms we’re at the night of the frantic fanatic.
Indeed, of the four bands risking the obsessive’s bullet tonight, only Eastern Lane can be sure that no-one has flown in from Reykjavik on an Internet tip-off with their band logo branded into their cheek with a sharpened sparkler. Floppy-fro’d singer Derek Meins looks like a hairier version of one of the puppets from Team America, and his cohorts sound like the rest of the puppets being torn to pieces by a seven-headed Cerberus from hell’s own garage rock band. They certainly recruit a few dozen stalkers with the nearly-disco brashness of ‘Saffron’ and the Walkmen-on-the-chain-gang food riot of ‘Feed Your Addiction’. At the barrier during ‘I Said Pig On Friday’, the 135 Mild Moshing Eastern Laniacs hold their inaugural AGM.
The Subways’ obsessives are less inclined to bawl the lyrics during a swan-dive from the stage than send segments of their severed earlobe to the bassist wrapped in rose petals. Because, ignoring the chipmunk-voiced Mary-Charlotte Cooper bounding about like an Amazonian princess on PCP for a second (I said ignore her! Oi! Put it away!), what we have here is the kind of punk-pop porridge that’s failed to sell a single record for every gormless indie gonk since the dawn of time. At best (‘Rock’n’Roll Queen’) they bare the same garage snarl as Von Bondies; at worst they’re Mclusky with a future in modelling. Next!
In an instant, the photo pit is a scrum of snappers and bouncers, bodies are SCREEEEEPLUNKing over the audience like human buzzbombs and two Alexi Sayles, and a pogoing West Country twiglet take the stage to glorify the squalor of insurgent urban living, from the wide-eyed odes to Death Disco, right up to the agony and ecstasy inherent in the cry of “QPR! Nineteen seventy FIIIIIIIIIIVVEEE!!!”. a href="http://www.nme.com/artists/251747.htm">The Others steal the show, not least because they spark running battles between fan and bouncer not seen since the Battle Of Babyshambles 2004. They are, quite frankly, furious.
It’s hardly their fault, then, that by the time The Ordinary Boys have even played a note, the night’s thunder has been stolen. To an intro tape of Madness’ ‘Night Boat To Cairo’ and in front of a Union Jack backdrop, Preston and his mod mates are loud, energetic, cocksure… yet they can’t quite match the Dominic Mastersclass in rabble-rousing. Forthcoming single ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is another instalment in the nu-ska explosion, their cover of Ramones’ ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’ is storming and they end with ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and ‘Seaside’, but it’s still not quite enough.
What this means
“When i first metchoo/You were wearing a chooonick” will shortly become the new “And after allll/You’re my wunderwaaalllll”.
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