Saturday, 2 August 2008

One More Grain @ White Heat, 08/01/2008

One More Grain + My Sad Captains + Mixedcases
White Heat, Madame Jojo’s
8th January 2008

Tonight sees a White Heat Records special down in the freshened-up, post-smoking ban Madame Jojo’s, something that usually marks a night of disjointed weirdness by a bunch of utterly dissimilar bands. This Tuesday continues the trend, opening with solo multi-instrumentalist, beat-maker and typically awkward wiry indie boy Mixedcases. His cerebral lo-fi blends live xylophones and guitars with sampled chatter and synths to make soundscapes for the 4am post-club ‘chillout’, as they say in ‘Beefa, though it all falls a bit flat in this early slot.

My Sad Captains are one of the most promising bands on the White Heat roster currently, and the sizeable turnout shows their potential for actually selling some records too. Sharing a member with Fanfarlo (another of those inexplicably cheerful bands that have appeared recently), their stompy choruses and pleasant country-pop indicates that a ‘proper indie’ (in an early 90s, Pavement-y sorta way) revival is upon us. We even get two check shirts for the price of one.

Despite the sparser crowd, the meandering art-rock creepiness of One More Grain is without doubt the most exciting thing on this bill. An apparently normal bunch of grumpy - possibly even rather old – men, OMG seem to be staging their own revivalist movement, this time of legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke, with a nod to the Velvets’ spoken word tale of horror ‘The Gift’ plus added atonal guitar work for good measure. Taking his literary cue from the sorry towns and endless motorways of England’s grey and unpleasant land, frontman Daniel Patrick Quinn is less poet than Northern grumbler, and thus couldn’t be further away in disposition or geography to My Sad Captains. A bizarre gem; it warms your heart to know there’s a record label putting out stuff like this.

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