Words: Tom Bell
Photography: Hannah Johns / @hannahjphotog
Invisible Wind Factory, North Shore Troubadour, Drop The Dumbulls 22/4/17

Right, what we got here: we got two drummers, we got sax – in fact, make that three drummers at times, and sax. OK, done, acceptable, we can work with this. It’s JAZZHANDS, rag ‘n’ bone exponents of a rustic, rickety gypsy revue. When the sonic jugglers and jesters of this six-string-slinging electric hoedown offer up a triangle solo, you’d maybe call them out for dicking around were it not for the insistent energy maintained that carries the motion and ensures that, so far, so just about sufficiently weird. That, everybody, is the kinda takeaway we’re really holding out for tonight in this self-styled fezzie “for the freakscene”. Freak, you say? Wanna play that card? Fine, give us freak.

Probably you’re gonna invite BO NINGEN down to Invisible Wind Factory as one of yer copper-bottomed bankers in freakscenery, and true to form they proceed to destroy the place. It is not too OTT to call the hairy foursome one of the relatively few essential hard-rockin’ acts of their time, and it’s as a live entity that their sprawling yet lean freak-prog should be appreciated, and tonight very much is.

Big words, and keep chewing them, because they are matched for intensity on the night by PART CHIMP, ragged purveyors o’ cacophonous glory that the internet says metamorphosed in Camberwell. I say they’re hurled from the very bowel of Mount Vesuvius, the magnificent, roaring bastards.

"Copper-bottomed bankers in freakscenery, and true to form they proceed to destroy the place."

One might quibble a little over tonight’s weirdness count at times, because what’s to say the likes of their rockular excellencies THE WYTCHES and BONNACONS OF DOOM – if you shed the names and cozzies – wouldn’t be equally at home, equally rockular and excellent, here a week later for FestEVOL? Satanic majesties, yes, but wrong enough? And, again, any gig-goer who still seeks in a guitar a machine to kill fascists should make it their business as soon as diaries permit to see the frighteningly young/wise punk (yet many-geared) trio SKINNY GIRL DIET, with their wrong (right) worldviews, wrong (right) citations and bad-vibrations (good-vibrations) fretwork. In noted freak hotspot Drop The Dumbulls, with sound issues but also tonight’s promise of something that’s otherwise without home, is not SGD’s optimal shot at primacy.

Fussy fucker ain’t I? Bit chippy about this whole ‘wrong’ lark, won’t let it go? Let me stop you right there, because what if I were to offer you… HOUSEWIVES? The lowdown: yet more South Londoners, but on a wronger frequency. Prominent of ‘jazz’ sax (potential to go so wrong), and “glacial” and “minimal” of biog – things people parp to imply austere clever-Trevors of grave importance – but forget that: their rumbling tonal essay is above all a physical act. Nothing posed or controlled. Gain chops back against grain, clatter trespasses on signatures, tracks go off-plan foundations-wise then plonk crooked corridors of splintering, saxy creaks through the North Shore Troubadour. Does the vocal pitch jar? Yes/no; it’s a less trodden pathway of harmony, danced with two or maybe three left feet.

Best act these ears have heard in months? Housewives, you guys. Wrong cats at the right time. Wrong enough to be right. The wrongest of them all. Stick ’em in yer Wrong Fest, they’ll smoke ya.

RELATED
CURRENT ISSUE Bido Lito! Issue landscape Ad PLAYLIST
Portrait Ad Ad