London Camden Monarch

There's a lot of slashing punk noise in the set...

Club Giants are from the suburbs. They hail from places like Tunbridge Wells and it shows. Their music is ripped through with frustration and annoyance. They used to be a band called Joeyfat, you know. Twelve-foot tall singer Matt Cole, the only actual giant in the band, chucks out flamboyant Jarvis Cocker shapes with fey aplomb, while the rest of the band grind out a fantastic Fugazi-esque noise. Club Giants‘ songs are like charming love letters followed by a swift punch in the face, equal parts charming and violent. It’s great.

So it’s with a slightly bloody nose that we see Brooklyn’s Les Savy Fav bounce onto stage to give us another good kicking. Like Talking Heads, they’re graduates of Rhode Island School Of Design, but to create, it seems they have to destroy. They’ve made it their mission to demolish the conservative rigidity of the current alternative US music scene, and get some of the rock’n’roll juice back.

Vocalist Tim Harrington has shorn the beard that until tonight made him look a lot like the old Captain Birds Eye. He also apologises to the Monarch staff for smashing the dressing room sink. Are these two events related? Possibly. There’s a lot of slashing punk noise in the set – imagine if Pavement had been born real ugly and with an excess of energy and you’re halfway there. Harrington spends most of the set singing from the crowd, and occasionally balanced on top of the bar. Like …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Queens Of The Stone Age, Les Savy Fav prove that the circus is back in town. Hurrah.

Dublin’s Turn, on the other hand, are playing their cards much closer to their chest. In black shirts and ties and with cheekbones to match, they appear to be wound up extremely tightly. They take their pain very seriously. Like a more convincing Brian Molko, singer Ollie Cole spends most of the gig yelping like a thirsty dog. It’s electric stuff, but ultimately Turn end up breaking the rock’n’roll spells cast earlier by taking themselves far too seriously.