This pint of ‘Royal Union’ at The Pub/Zoo tastes like a longtime-loved, oft-polished shoe was floating in the barrel for the duration of its coming-to-maturity. This could mean trouble afoot…if you’ll pardon the pun.
I’m not even on the list tonight “…but I’m sure it’s alright…” says tubby home-made T-Shirt ticket-taker guy, as he writes ‘PH’ with a Sharpie on the back of my left hand.
The Deaf Institute’s auditorium has never looked more forlorn. The skylight is sneeze-inducingly bright white, instruments are seemingly arbitrarily peppered in front of the stage and the handful of attendees, most probably the support, are staying well out of the way.
‘Sex Hands’ were due on 15 minutes ago, but so far there’s just some kids tinkering with the instruments on the floor. With no announcement and precious little sound-checkery they abruptly twang-out their elastic band ‘lectric guitar sound like a Church-Group Rock band minus the Christ. They bum-pummel the fuck out of two chords for three minutes-a-piece.
It’s pure unadulterated Rock N’ Roll without pretension, drilling simple riffs into the ground until dulled into nothing, so in this blissful minute – they’re the best fucking band in the city.
Next up is ‘what’s-their-fucking-name’, I’ll find out when I go for a Piss.
In the absence of the Playstation Network, pissing these spherical blue urinal deodorisers away from the drain is the best game I’ve played in a fortnight.
Take THAT Sony.
Suddenly something illuminatory befalls me even as the skylight gives way to gray. An epiphany hits me about lack of talent eclipsed by the pulsating abundance of heart. ‘Waiters’ as I discover they are called, might not be any more untuned or loose than ‘Sex Hands’, but somehow ‘Sex Hands’, made what they’d got soar.
“This one’s by Oasis…” declares the frontman, in what I assume must be a stab at humour, since it most definitely isn’t. Though it does sound like it borrows Silver Jews’ ascending, repeating “seems just like a freeze-out…” ditty-riff from ‘Pan American Blues’.
At 21:14 the lower bar is still better populated than the venue at two bands-deep, and its patrons look like they have no intentions of ascending.
Nothing going on, on-stage tonight. I’m praying for some disgruntled junky to barge past whatever bandmember is tending the ticket desk & start making very stark, daydream-shaking trouble for you all.
‘Ghost Outfit’ are Angus Young Chucking Berries on guitar & Jerry the Excessively Long-Armed Gentleman-Boxer on drums – Basically a Quintopus, four arms flailing out of control, and one with a face-on keeping lookout between headbangs.
With a passionately and competently played set ‘Ghost Outfit’ obviously couldn’t care less if they were playing for an audience of P.E. Teachers’ knees in formaldehyde, and set the bar in the stratosphere. Their third member tonight is almost the Junky I prayed for – the pissed-up guy dancing, much to the delight of John Bonham’s starfish reincarnation, whose invitation to those of us lurking in the shadows to join them on the dance floor was ignored by everyone but him.
Ghost Outfit: “Thanks for coming tonight”
Pissed-up Ninja: “You wanna Blow Job?”
Ghost Outfit: “This entire set was dedicated to THAT guy!”
A Wizard of Oz who doesn’t even bother trying to hide behind the curtain.
Takes me a minute or two to mentally chastise the Army Jacketed talent’s sunglasses at gone 22:00 on a schoolnight. Prior to tonight’s show, ‘Matthew Horseshit’ posts on his Tumblr Blog/Official site that he and ‘Nicole Bland’ are preparing to start a “deathrave in Manchester“. Judging by the numbers, it looks like he may have got more than he bargained-for. The John Belushi-Douchebag dangles a limp wrist while overseeing his wallpapering-table full of wired-up doo-hickies for the impending monsoon of self-styled ‘Shitgaze’ for an audience vying for numerical supremacy over the number of Spiders statistically supposed to be in the building.
He sets up a beer crate table for two bottles of Tuborg as slinky-limbed, doe-eyed Nicole Bland sets most of the hard stuff-up for him. They begin with title track from imminent L.P. ‘Laced’ which nicks it’s sparkly undertow from ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ off Brian Eno’s ‘Another Green World’. The imagination ends there.
There are 24 people up-in-this-joint tonight. Two of them just left, 50% of which, I later find out was Matthew ‘The Pigeon Post’ Britton.
Nicole Bland looks like she got all starry-eyed-for, and fell under the thrall of Matt, in France perhaps on his way over here, and was given a crash course in an aural phenomena known as ‘music’ 15 fucking days ago, betraying the level of competence it takes this man to operate his assorted smorgasbord of samplers and sequencers.
As they flog their zombie horse-corpse, performing to a predominantly empty room, they start to look fairly embarrassed to be doing what they’re doing.
“We’re Psychedelic Horseshit…*unintelligible*…some beats out in the car, Ohio USA. This songs about Florida.”
Strips-off camo-jacket to reveal tubby-tummied basketball vest weighted down by a Goldie-Looking Chain, for unfettered digital trickbox fondling
I almost feel bad for them.
“This song is about…uh….Punk Chicks….
…It’s called ‘Punk Chicks’”
It’s a Disasterclass. Tip: if you don’t allow gaps between songs, you don’t need to hear how lacklustre your applause (or lack thereof) is.
Did anyone promote this at all prior to the poster being put up on the door tonight?
Some kid approaches the stage after the show mercifully abates, giving Matt a much-needed opportunity to soothe his bruised ego. Off-handedly dismissing Nicole’s contribution, meager though it seemed, Matt says: “She’s in the band, but she’s only…she’s like…a part-timer…There’s another guy but… Sometimes there’s like, 5 people in the band sometimes there’s like 2. Thanks for coming out.”
I’m keeping my transparent cards close to my X-Rayed chest, I know. I’ve been trying to resist the urge to lazily say their name is its own review, but ‘Psychedelic’ & ‘Horse’ are inaccuracies.
WORDS by Chester Whelks
PHOTOS by Kitty Saros