Thursday 28 April 2011

LA Report: Abe Vigoda, Cold Showers, Beaches + Pope Anything

What a bill! Every single band last night made me tingle with excitement. Shame about the non-rhythmic audience. 

I arrived at The Smell well early because I was actually worried it could sell out. It didn't but Pope Anything played very early on and I was lucky enough to be there for that. I don't know much about this group but I really liked what I heard. Fuzzy indie guitars, poppy yet a bit noisy. And a great voice on vocals, a bit like No Age with a higher pitched voice. I can see this going somewhere and hope to hear more from this group in the near future.

Beaches are a girl group from Australia. Did I say girl group? Well, yes, they are girls. But hell no, they don't play that typical 60s girl group influenced music. Instead, fuzzy, phychedelic music, noisy songs that build up, Sonic Youth would be proud. This was so much more powerful than I expected and I loved it. Watch out for these Australian ladies because they know how to rock!

Luckily, Cold Showers managed to meet expectations, too. They sounded like an upbeat Joy Division and although their set was short, it was so danceable and fun. I can't wait to hear more from this group!

So here is a quick audience update, in reference to my first comment above: Up to this point, the bands had been playing on the floor and not on the stage and not a single soul had been dancing. Everyone had just stared at the bands, and clapped between songs.

Then, Abe Vigoda played on the stage. As you know from previous posts from me, I am a great admirer of their work. Especially their recordings blow my mind. Unfortunately, so far I have not had the live experience I had hoped for. Something was always in the way - be it a mind-blowing main act that put Abe Vigoda in the shade, a too big stage for their performance or, as the case was last night, an annoying audience. Because these kids in their teens decided that Abe Vigoda was the perfect music to start a mosh pit, too. I kid you not! It was so ironic because the band utilises more disco elements in their music everytime I see them yet these kids danced like it was Suicidal Tendencies playing. I held out at the front for a good part of the set until I realised that the aggressive dancing was not going to end and that I wasn't actually enjoying myself the way I should. So I moved towards the end and danced and was just glad I was seeing Abe Vigoda at The Smell, in their home. And even though they are more raw live and less polished than on record, and they're one of the few bands I prefer polished, oddly enough, I was also glad to know that I am seeing them again in Berlin very soon, hopefully with a more supportive audience. 

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