Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue #006 Feat. Waltzer and The Loveburns
My mission tonight is simple: watch the assembly of acts that raving loon promoter Spoon has put on. One of them must not only play innovative original music, they've got to perform like they understand the meaning of worthy performance. In theory, as I've experienced many a night before this - I might not find a band that can fill my basic criterion. Thankfully Spoon assures me that the noiseniks on display tonight are potent and musically up my alley. He talks of the closing act’s fullness despite them being a two piece, and of the demo really selling them. I wonder if he's seen them live and if they are into the idea of creating spectacle. I silently hope that the line-up I'm about to witness keeps Spoons’ rep intact. You can find out about his other night (A Spoonful of Poison) by following the link to my blog here:
The first group on has a good use of pre-recorded guitar solos, a bassist that knows how to punch a groove and yeah, their brand of U2-centric early Alanis Morrisette grunge rock is played tight. But the stage presence is weak and each song is over eager to promote one singular self-important energy. On record this act probably sound like they should play arenas. For these visual and dynamic failings they shall go unnamed. Has the mighty Spoon failed me? Will the quality of the line up remain this turgid?
The next band get me on my feet. A trio that has the breaks and editing mindset that the first band sorely lacked. They aren't the most arresting band visually, but because their tunes are all effervescent spitfires of catchy punk, they get away with it. I have at least one band to write home about. Waltzer.
Perhaps they can support my own band at my birthday bash in Camden? Alison the front lady seems keen. Contact info is swapped whilst she informs me of their Smashing Pumpkins and Michael Jackson influences. Yes, you read that correctly. Fishes for Diamonds (not a fair trade, shouts an audience member) is both novel and beguiling. Thankfully the eerie slow burn of the verse draws us into a crafty snake of a chorus. There is something early nineties about the coda. Remember Ash? How could you forget them! Waltzer might prove to be a little too polished on record but there is no denying the song strength here.
I read an article recently that you’ve got to beware which songs you share with your ex via mix tape (not that we use tapes anymore. We file share don’t we?). I agree, my emotions always go somewhere dark when I think of 1977 by Smashing Pumpkins and I can’t help but think the bitter sweet feeling that drips right through Superfine is gonna depress the hell out of somebody’s ex one day. The vocals are listener friendly and should these guys want to, Superfine could sell something that youths don’t need (teen heart throb soap opera or some such). I personally hope they continue the promise of dirt and scuzziness I find in All Ways Around. God knows Alison’s vocals can drive any dirge fest they dream up in the direction of Radio 1. I think Waltzer want to be big, just look at how they answered my career goal question…
Career Goals: Play Coachella festival and headline Glasto
See? They have ambition. More on that idea of ‘making it’ in a future article as I have gripes about the concept and what it can do to people and their music. For now though, I believe that Waltzer’s motives are innocent. Here’s some info they sent me upon request…
Name: Waltzer Contact: Alison - email@example.com
Set List For Waltzer: 1. Under The Weather 2. All Ways Around 3. Fish for Diamond 4. Superfine 5. Home 6. Everglow 7. Battle Lines Band Members: Alison - Vocals/Guitar, Allan - Bass / Backing Vox, Jimmy: Drums, Backing Vox Influences: Smashing Pumpkins, Blur, Nirvana, Band of Skulls
The Loveburns are on next displaying a jaunty Rock 'n' Roll/Blues cacophony that is only outshined by the front man’s wild antics. I think of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as they tear through songs like it was the end of the world. If this band were a person they would be that troublesome pal you can't leave alone with a telly lest they rewire it so that the screen displays upside down. Ok, so no one’s got a pal like that, but now they do because The Loveburns play music intentionally broken and disjointed that screams Captain Beefheart - if he had listened to The Sex Pistols…a lot. One listen to Soul Sender gets me singing it back to them. Funky and playful. Harsh but tuneful. Solid Soul Sender indeed. Like a Fela Kuti track condensed and shoved through a punk funk sound grater. Bear with me here, these guys have mangled my aural receptors. Go listen to them. Take my word for it. Hey, have I ever promoted a dodgy band? This is high grade sound here. Spoon is my main peddler. Rarely will I count on anyone else. Spoon personally hosts Let Them Eat Gak every Wednesday night. For more details, click the link:
Set List For The Loveburns: 1 promise kept 2 pharoah 3 profit margin 4 work it 5 god sez so 6 detecter 7 lullaby 8 oh yeah I’m sure 9 soul sender Line up: Joao - Drums, Searles – Bass, Steve - Guitar Contact them for a gig if you’re a promoter. C’mon, don’t be an idiot: Facebook: Loveburns
Man, they are good, and though I detest the term world-music, I hear enough that makes me promise to interview them for a video series that I’ve been planning for the Headspace Channel. More on Loveburns in the future. I gotta dash. Sure, Spoon implores me to please stay, to allow the final act at least one more audience member in the steadily thinning crowd. I make the tough decision to leave based on the fact that I've a) found two bands tonight b) the last band despite Spoon hyping them up weren't even here to be an audience for their swiftly departing fellow players. c) I've got to go home and pack.
Tomorrow I am Bristol bound. I am camera man and fellow reviewer for Bleeder magazine's coverage of ArcTanGent Festival. This city boy’s never been camping before. Time for him to get with the packing.