Sod what the broadsheets are saying, this is the sound of excitement. The George Tavern, London, Friday, August 7
At the end of last year a whole host of professional liggers predicted that 2009 would be the year of the leftfield lady. Mountains of Sunday supplement coverage later, dressing up a fun new Barclaycard-sponsored way to mawkishly exploit the sisterhood as the new Women’s Liberation Front, the clever men in suits who said this would happen all along get pats on the back for being so damn liberal and selfless. Yay for girls! No more cleaning and missionary sex for us, thanks, Florence has, like, totally solved everything. Oh, wait, her dresses are more newsworthy than she is. We’re still totally fucked.
But maybe not! Because tonight, fluttering in on the breeze, are Gaggle – the most exciting, innovative and genuinely imaginative force at large in music right now. More infectious than a mnemonic plague (ahem) and going off with the full force of Blondie’s ‘Atomic’, they sound like 10,000 MIAs – and we bet they don’t kiss nice. A room full of hearts quicken as they prove their potential to be an awesome force for good, instantly swaying our conviction to vote Dave Rowntree in the next election.
Gaggle don’t give a shit about haircuts or credibility, and they don’t hold the listening public in the unimaginable contempt that we’ve grown used to. They’re also fucking funny. There’s no passé burlesque attempts at faux-titillation. ‘Crows’ knowingly milks a three-witches vibe to awesome effect, and ‘Liar’ was probably written on the back of a copy of the SCUM Manifesto. ‘I Like Cigarettes’ is the sound of Odysseus tying himself to the mast of his ship, Salome getting her kit off and Delilah sharpening her scissors in one hypnotic, riot-operrra. It’s like Hole if they’d been big into pixie sticks instead of smack (ie much better).
If tonight’s show is anything to go by we can only hope that Gaggle start a seismic shift within music, a shift away from apathy and humourlessness. People are having real, uninhibited, bollocks-to-the-cool-kids fun. Step back and look at these 20-odd silk-clad women and it’s all a bit (brilliantly) silly. Who cares? They conjure up an image of Utopia where no-one wants to sound like Radiohead any more, and that particular joke at the expense of middle-class people is just a bad dream. A place where female singer-songwriters are not just part of a tiresome trend. They’ll be simply massive in 2010, darling.