Friday, September 17, 2010

Idiot Glee | Future Islands | Moon Unit | Slushy Guts - The Old Blue Last, London, 15 September 2010

Slushy Guts are the sentimental alter ego of noiseniksters Bromancer. It’s a minimal set up. Guitar and an ancient keyboard that looks like it’s on the verge of expiring.

The first song begins with a simple drone created by sellotaping some keys down. Sketchy guitar lines are picked out over the monotonous hum. It reminds me of a lot of the stuff that came out on Shrimper. Or lo-fi guitar minimalists like Paste from way back.

I love the name Slushy Guts. It captures the exposed emotions. Like a scimitar slashed stomach. It’s all hanging out, messily, bloodily, steam slowly rising from the entrails of life’s experiences.

Moon Unit begin with some heavy kosmiche star bliss. Heady keyboard twinkling’s like vintage kraut psychonauts. The guitarist perpetually quests on the outer reaches of the cosmos. Like gazing into a continually morphing Orion’s belt.

Tethering or binding this all together are the drums which aren’t playing rhythm but patterns. Weaving rounds the guitar, keyboards and effects. It’s like Popol Vuh being blasted into deep space with Ashtray Navigations and Rangda as co-pilots.

Future Islands are a late addition to the bill. I coming at them cold. I don’t know what their style is or what they’re trying to do. I do know that having had a record out on Thrill Jockey though.

First take is that they’re trying to resuscitate the corpse of 80s keyboard pop. Only they seem embarrassed by playing an unashamed tune. So songs are always a bit wonky, woozy, and wrong. It’s all thudding beats and murky melodies. A lot of people seem to like it. I could say they’re rubbish. Instead, let’s just say they’re not my thing.

As is unfortunately normal with a gig promoted by Upset the Rhythm the show is running needlessly late. The venue has largely emptied by the time Idiot Glee starts playing.

Unfortunately, I am not a student or a gig promoter. So I have to do boring things like a paid job and get up at 6am. That’s why I tend to get a bit resentful at gigs that don’t finish until midnight. And if I was Idiot Glee playing to a half empty room because people are leaving to get a train home well I might just be a bit pissed off.

Enough griping. Idiot Glee start and it’s a bit like listening to Midnight Marauders and Pet Sounds being played simultaneously through next doors walls. Minimal keyboard and soft harmonious vocals over simple pre-programmed beats. It’s like listening to Women with all the frills removed. There’s a cover of Ain’t No Sunshine. It kind of makes sense and makes me wonder what a cover of Timmy Thomas’s Why Can’t We Live Together would sound like.

Preferred drink: Chivas Regal

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