National Dirty Otter Day – Brudenell Social Club – 17/09/2011

Posted on September 19, 2011

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17/09/2011 – Brudenell Social Club – Tubelord, Brontide, Tall Ships, Shoes and Socks Off, Rosa Valle, Algiers, Ngod.

After working a 24 hour shift, I trekked back home for a shower and a fry up before heading straight out to the Brudenell Social Club for this little cracker, the first annual Dirty Otter Day. The line up looked pretty good, featuring bands that had been recommended to me a few times, bands that I’d heard on record but not yet seen live, and Shoes and Socks Off, who is pretty freakin’ awesome. By the time we arrived, Ngod were already up and running. The first thing that struck me was how very young the chaps on stage looked, and how music played by youngsters had changed over the years. 10 years ago, the first band on the bill would be a poor mans undeveloped version of the fourth band on the bill. Today the first band on a bill were a band with great technical ability and a keen eye for time signature movement. Encouraging stuff from these Bradford boys. Algiers were up next, and were pretty much the opposite of any complaints I could make about Ngod. Where as Ngod didn’t repeat anything during their set, no matter how interesting the part, Algiers were a more classic straight forward ‘these are our songs and this is the chorus’ type of band. The between song anti-banter had a charm to it too. A very earnest performance. Third band Rosa Valle suffered from the same lack of attention that Ngod and many other bands seem to have these days. Every now and then they would hit something really exciting, but before you could get into it they would be off on a different stream completely. Whilst part of me enjoys the business and would like to encourage it, the problem is that the band finish and not a single part of it sticks in the memory. My housemate described it as ‘music made to impress people’, and that makes sense. Fantastic technical ability though, which seems to be a theme with young bands. A fear of a hook also seems to be a theme.

Shoes and Socks Off has no such problems, and the sheer ability of his songwriting really stands out throughout the day. The new stuff bodes very well for the next record, and oldies such as ‘Protect Your PC’ are given new life. ‘I’m a World Class Assassin’ finishes the set with a flourish, and any worries I had from the Shopkeepers performance a couple months back are laid to rest. Fantastic. Tall Ships follow, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to make of it all. The crowd absolutely adored them, and the sheer depth of sound on display was fantastic. It just felt very unnatural to me though. They were very dependent on the looping of guitar parts, and the dependence on technology to create their sound was disheartening. My thoughts on the band were summed up best by themselves towards the end, when they informed the crowd that they would play new songs next time round, but they had to learn them first. Or maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t have one of the fancy loop pedals.

If you are going to insist on using these loop pedals though, I would suggest using Brontide as an influence. The perfect balance between technological assistance and classic power, they got it absolutely spot on. Where as Tall Ships would possibly be at a loss if their effects broke down, Brontide would most like thrive in such a situation. Opener ‘Matador’ was absolutely huge, and the set was a joy from start to finish. Huge. Tubelord closed the evening up, and their new stuff in particular displays what a lot of other bands were lacking, which is an absolute embrace of a pop hook. The short attention span is still there, but they aren’t afraid to hit a chorus and smash it into your memory, as new single ‘My First Castle’ shows perfectly. Old songs are greeted like much missed friends, and the future seems bright these very tall chaps.

In conclusion? The Brudenell is a great venue, these are fascinating times for British bands, and Shoes and Socks Off’s next record will be blinding.

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Posted in: Gigs