Saturday, 2 February 2008

3RD ANNUAL ARTROCKER FESTIVAL


This thing went on for 5 nights, I was at two, this is the review


15th Jan

The Buffalo bar is filled with London’s most with it, pretentious long haired types. Music PR people, fashion PR people and aspiring musicians and socialites like Peaches Geldoff, all crowded into this small building which is awkwardly shaped for the purpose of a gig , but the low ceiling does help the acoustics.

I’d heard Thomas tantrum’s single “shake it” played on the radio several time prior to this performance, the song has a unique childish naivety delivered by the unusual little girl voice of the singer. However the other songs from their set are not as catchy, and their style of indy pop, although well performed, with variation of pace, comes across as uninspired and in need of energy.

Art punks the Damn shames have all the energy that the previous band lacked, they are an impressive live act although the songs are instantly forgettable. This style of minimalist digital drum punk is by no means original and needs some catchier hooks, but was entertaining none the less.

When Hatcham Social come to the stage with matching bowl cuts and scowling faces they look like a group of catholic monks on an h&m shoot, their music contrasts with their image, brimming with youth energy and almost upbeat at times, it gets me tapping my feet although the majority of the self conscious crowd shuffle around around disinterestedly. Dancing is forbidden.

17th Jan

John and Jehn are a French two piece from Bordeaux, I was thoroughly impressed with their Cramps-esque, garage punk, ranging from slow moody ambience to upbeat catchy dancy-pop-rock. The bass lines are simple, solid at times almost funky complementing the well programmed drum machine. This very enjoyable, male and female duo has the potential for mass appeal, with their varied musical style, and chic image. Expect to hear more of them.

Elle s’appelle are a group of young scousers playing indie-pop, a nice simple set up of bass with male vocals, drums and a female keyboardist who also sings on the odd song providing some vocal variation. The keys drive poppy melodies over the steady rhythm of a competent drummer, there are hints of ska, punk rock and sixties psych in their sugar coated sound.

Ipso facto look fantastic, a visually stunning all girl group who take to the stage immaculately turned out with hair cuts like the Ramones and clothes like it’s the sixties swingin’ from a noose rope. Although they look like Goth punks who are gonna play some high octane rock and roll, they only produce a slow paced moody kind of ambient pop. Could have done with some more variation in pace, but they do the slow plod along kind of Bjork meets Jefferson airplane sound very well.

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