How can you not like a festival which features a drummer who bashes a snare drum with his cock?
In the corner a man is bashing the drums with his dick, in the next room onstage party-starters The Infadels are banging the fuck out of a dustbin lid and, over by the bar, members of Black Wire are busy inviting strangers back to their house for an impromptu aftershow.
You may have read earlier in the issue that New Yorkshire rocks. And one night in Leeds shows why this is the best place for music in the UK, nay, the world right now.
Welcome, then, toNastyFest, Leeds’ premier new band showcase. With Glastonbury (and the new band bonanza that is the John Peel Stage) out of action next year, this will be the event to catch all the hottest talent in one go come 2006. As dress rehearsals go though, NastyFest 2005 is one eye-opening peepshow of debauchery, noise and the future of filth.
Understandably for the most rock’n’roll city in the world right now, local bands are well looked after on the line-up. There’s The Lodger, whose lack of interesting arrangements can’t disguise the fact they’ve got some rather lovely indie-pop songs. And there’s The Ivories, four girls whose drone-addled sex-rock is promising but a little rough-around-the-edges. If only the same could be said about Keith. They look like they should be roadies for Coldplay, but occasionally unleash a banging house stomper out of nowhere that makes your serotonin glands explode. They should really try and do this more often.
“He’s playing the drums with his cock!” shout several disturbed audience members as Electric Eel Shock arrive. And by jove he is, albeit a cock with a massive sock hanging from it. Now, it’s NME’s well-valued opinion that any music being played with a drummer’s genitalia should be critically lauded, even if it is just suicidal garage punk. It would be hard to argue that they weren’t making the effort. Unlike the preceding Rifles – half an hour of uninspired mod-punk that does nothing for us. They don’t play any instruments with their cocks either which, in this day and age, is just plain lazy.
Tonight’s real stars are ¡Forward, Russia! . If indie and dance have been getting cosy recently, here’s a band making people shake their ass to something altogether more fearsome. New single ‘13’ is a good enough example: a sexy digital hum slowly pummelled into something resembling a tune. Within seconds, singer Tom Woodhead proceeds to use the tangled, mangled noise as an excuse to shred his larynx into a bloody mess. They make the hipsters shake their wonky haircuts, but this fine noise would work equally well in the sweatiest of moshpits.
We’ve been here for about eight hours now and things are starting to get messy, with the good people of Leeds all planning various non-legal
late-night activities. Clearly, it’s time to escape before anyone ropes us into tidying up. Everything still brilliant in Leeds? Try telling that to the poor sod currently scrubbing a blood-caked foreskin from his cymbals.