London WC2 Astoria

A dark, creepy band, dabbling with goth, techno and swooping samples...Garbage on a budget...

As singer Katharine Gifford heads offstage, she starts pulling out her hair. Not through exasperation, she’s just had enough of her extensions. As parting gestures go, it’s more original than trashing your guitar.

But that’s Snowpony – [I]different[/I]. Unsurprising given their past – spent with wilful types like Stereolab (Gifford), My Bloody Valentine (bassist Debbie Googe), and, er, Moonshake (new drummer Kevin, erm, Bass). Still, if it were possible to stretch something past breaking point, you’d have to eke it a whole lot further to get away with calling this a supergroup.

Whatever, they’ve combined to form a dark, creepy band, dabbling with goth, techno and swooping samples. In other words, Garbage on a budget. Which is a whole lot better than the glossy multimillion-dollar alternative. Who, incidentally, haven’t got anything as languorously funky as new single ‘John Brown’, as inner-city paranoid as ‘Heart Of Dalston’, or a vocalist like Gifford. Singing in clipped, even tones, she sounds almost sweet. Until you realise she’s quietly telling us “[I]I’m bound for hell[/I]”, and spitting bile into your beer.

It’s not all doom though – as she dances like a deranged pagan, or they drag new singer Ian on to do nothing except look stoned, you could even laugh. Something suggests, however, you do it at your own peril.