Thursday, 24 January 2008

Cuckoo's Nest, Kaputt, Abi Makes Music - The Good Ship

Hell of a day at work, work's okay if its a proper job, but today there was tons of legwork and I got home knackered, fell asleep as soon as I got in, until the pressure on my bladder or hunger got too much, then spent hours trying to surf the internet to find the tide had gone out and was nothing left online. Except for a dark and sinister mob emailing each other about my other websites whenever I clicked refresh on statcounter.

Hibbett speaks:-
You might think your time's spent better
Doing "research" in your room
But you are not Mr Fantastic, you're Doctor Doom

I've never been a going to the pub person, if invited, sure, but usually it takes so much fucking planning. I lived miles away from my friends back in my formative years, hours on buses to the middle of nowhere and going to the pub on my own in the hope of meeting people has been a soul-crushing experience for fifteen years now.

Gigs on my own, thats less awkward, preferable even, I get to listen to the music and move about in the mosh pit without being tied to my droogi, hence the nodding recognition and curt "fine, how are you?" conversations if I see anyone I know.

So I head out at 9pm to a random gig I'd seen on Facebook. The Good Ship in Kilburn, nightmare trying to find a cash machine, but got into the show two hours after the advertised doors time, not caring if I'd missed any bands.

There was no change in the door girl's tub so I had to head to the bar before paying or stealing any of their glittering array of cupcakes, ooh cupcakes.

On stage, in Buffalo Bill's sunken pit, is a four piece, mostly wearing black, two guitars, a stack of keyboards, bass guit and drums. A healthy dose of reverb pn the vox, easy comparison to Elastica in places, possibly informed by the post-rock movement. I think the reverb became a rope round the singer's neck by the final song.


Second act I saw was Abi Makes Music, she had her name on coloured pst it notes on the front of her keyboard.


It was awkward pish, I've seen quirky girls doing badly written arty poetry to backing tapes before, that George Pringle bird at Twee Ass-Fuck, it took me a few songs to get into, but was ultimately pretty satisfying. Abi Makes Music, on stage tonight, not so good. The lyrics were juvenile, the music was ropey, she forgets the words, repeats verses, misses cues and forgets the order of her songs.

I feel that the current crisis in the banking would is caused by a large part cos powerful bankers are inherently greedy and evil people, not all of them mind, but just enough so that when someone suggests taking crazy risks using other people's money in order to become crazy rich, there's not enouh people in the room to say "Chaps, you ought not to do that", general the majority of people in the room say "Fucken aye, lets make shit loads of money!!"

Even more so if there's just one greedy evil banker on his own in the room, there's no one to say no. But he ought to try and think about the negative consequences of his actions.

Likewise, I can't just sag off Abi, I have to find something positive. I'll get back to you on that.

"Ooh, was that the last track on the backing tape? Oh, I'd forgotten, I only put it together last night ad I forgot what's on it, like a slut," says she.

Such misuse of the term 'slut' makes me wonder about the rest of her lyrics. Not much though, they're just shite.

Okay, the one positive thing, her keyboard playing, it was okay, and would fit as the perfect accompanyment to an amateur dramatic society's annual musical.

If she practiced a bit more.

It was quite an alienating experience really. Maybe I should fuck off home, if anyone else at the gig 'got' Abi, it's not the gig for me. Then again, the first act were okay, maybe the last band would be too.

Hmm, last band? and the first band were playing at 9:30pm, this suggests that unless that first band played a really long set, then the doors to first band time is in excess of an hour. I was tracking this in earlier gigs this year and I did a bit of research into how long people expect to wait before the band comes on by posting polls on a handful of music messageboard. My findings neatly visualised in the graph below.

Expected to actual doors to first band on time

People expect the first band to be on stage around half an hour after the doors open, but in real life its always over an hour. Whilst self-righteous indignation and frustration at promoters is knocking on my door, I think Freakonomic style reasoning ought to be used. The punters are pretty smart, I think they're already coming to the gig half an hour after the doors open, and then end up waiting half an hour until the band comes on. They don't count the first half hour, its invisible, they weren't in the venue waiting then. They only expect to wait half an hour, even though the eager beaver early doors types wait the whole hour for the first band.

Last band of the night, Cuckoo's Nest, a two piece, drummer chap and guitar/vox lady making loud dark end of the world music.

Kind of like a dinosaur scraping at the souls of the living, there are rumbled words and yelps and neat bass work coming from that guitar. And I loved them, they made my evening. Sadly the kids who'd been dragged to the front for Abi had deserted them.

Cuckoo's Nest
Abi Makes Music


Anonymous said...

you're a slut.

Chris said...

Yes, thats because I sleep around, not because I can't remember how to put mixtapes together.

Anonymous said...

your grammar and spelling is appauling.

Chris said...

Yup, well spotted. But still I keep going to the gigs, taking photies, scribbling in my wee book, and slinging it all online.

Its crazy, there's no stopping me.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say, appalling isn't spelt like that. Sorry. Also, I like the way this guy reviews. Opinions can't be right or wrong.

Anonymous said...


This is more of a moan about your life than a review. I am not sure whether you are writing this for your own cathartic benefit or actually believe that any readers will get something from this. If it is the second then you are wrong, your writing is mechanical and depressing and damaging to the acts you review.

The thing that actually made me angry enough to leave a comment is that you mistakenly feel qualified to make critical judgements of people’s performances without knowing anything of what they are trying to achieve musically or aesthetically. The problem with this is that you are judging them against the wrong criteria. Not everybody wants to be an indie band and some people actually challenge that expectation, sometimes in subtle ways that makes amateur reviewers like you look, well, uninformed and amateurish.

Don’t bother telling me that you have an opinion and it is perfectly valid, yes, I know that, it like when people say “I don’t know much about art but I know what I like”. In other words your opinion sounds uninformed and bigoted and not worthy of public attention.

I say all this because I think you are trying to profit out of doing disservice to the act you review. Please stop.

Anonymous said...

i think that is what we call irony, you appalling slut.

Chris said...

I've been to quite a few gigs in my time, two or three a week for the past decade. I've seen many types of performance, indie, schmindie, twee, indiepop, kindercore, funk, spoken word, poetry, yer mates band, first ever gig, established veteran performers, up themselves arty, the next big thing arty, noiz, all kind of stuff. I've heard awkward silences between songs done well and done badly, I've see folk forgetting the words to their own songs done well and I've seen it done badly.

As an audience member, I get to choose what criteria I judge acts against. Its part of the audience - performer relationship. You have the microphone, you have to convince me. Getting angry and telling me I'm wrong isn't convincing. If I'm using the wrong criteria, then here, in the comments, tell me what criteria I should be using, and if you make a convincing case, I'll come to your next gig and judge you against that.