Sunday, 25 March 2007

Court Lajoie, iamchemist, Rabies Nation, Ladder Coins - 13th Note

Some Canadian girl, Court Lajoie, alone on stage, standing with an acoustic guitar and a box of tricks pedal.

I arrived fifteen minutes into her set, this is what happens when the reviewer tries to be stylishly late. Apologies to the folk at Drive Carefully Records who put on this night.

She was good at singing and playing guitar at the same time, except for on a few songs where the guitar played itself, then she was just very good at singing.

She did a neat cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, carefully recording her own backing loop on stage, and stressing that there was a video of it on YouTube, if you search for her surname.

She had a CD for sale too, but my money was going on drinks. Paul the barman does pour very good pints, turning it into an artful with attention to detail in getting the head just right. Such craftsmanship should be applauded far more often than it does.

Next onstage was iamchemist (all one word and lower case). "He made my ears hurt" said one punter, who then added that she was "terribly sorry." He looked like a twitchy mini-me version of Green Day, what is it with eight year olds at the 13th Note with loads of synthy equipment? He was jolly good, vocoder microphone, backing tracks on a microscopic mp3 player and wee keyboard strung round his neck, doing the kind of ultra distorted cover versions that I haven't heard since Dsico or Adventure Kid. The Arctic Monkeys I bet you look good on the dancefloor and Pulp's Babies, which was odd cos I'd been talking about the Pulp song with a friend earlier in the day.

It was the debut gig for Rabies Nation. A bit too experimental for my tastes, but some of the tracks had a great beat. Its surprising what you can get out of a Tomy My First Tape Recorder and an upturned bar tray.

A highlight of the set was chucking their own brand of choccy biscuits to a hungry audience, not many band have their own brand of biscuity goodness.

It seemed very much like this was the first time the band members had met each other. Or maybe that's what they wanted us to think, and it had taken months of studious practise to appear so self-assured and shambolic.

The ubiquitous Cal was on drums and keyboard, Billy Electroluv on keyboards and drums, Steff from Drive Carefully Records on keboards and percussion and a Kirstin on keyboards and vocals. Now Cal's drumming was amazing, even compared to the other night's Hector's gig and Kirstin has been in many great bands, LipSick springs to mind, but Rabies Nation just didn't do it for me.

On the other hand, Ladder Coins, the evening's headliners, did. They were mind-blowing. Instrumental shoegazery guitar geniuses, with a girl on drums. Reminded me of Kaleidoscope-era Boo Radleys, but without the pussy vocals.

So there was this irrepressible onslaught of noise, strangely melodic and warm and fuzzy too. Brendan soundguy running to and fro tweaking the mixing desk to raise the sound to higher levels of perfection.

I found myself talking to a gentleman called Cameron, who was in a band who's name I missed, who similarly enjoyed the Ladder Coins, but was concerned that as an instrument act there was only so far they could go in terms of success. Nonsense, look at Mogwai. I don't think there's a Glaswegian who doesn't own at least one of their albums.

Other reviews:-

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