On 14th November 2008 at 00:35 thirties wrote...
I should've pointed out that the other bands can be found at http://www.myspace.com/cissysound and http://www.myspace.com/trapdoorminotaur
Posted by Alexander Rennie.
Reviewed on 12th November 2008.
Live at Milo on Thursday, 30th October 2008
The first-floor room at Milo's is, under normal circumstances, easily missed. You may have passed it en route to the facilities, but normally you'd be loafing around downstairs thinking that the (admittedly consistent) bar soundtrack was about as much aural stimulus as you'd require for an evening's drinking-cum-socializing. You would, however, be somewhat wide of the mark - at least if this 'British Wildlife' night were to be any measure of this cosy venue.
First up tonight are supposed newcomers Trapdoor Minotaur who, upon closer inspection, turn out to be a trio of experienced Leeds lady-rockers drawn from disparate previous incarnations. The sound of the whole is one of girl-group garage as it's best purveyed; confidently feminine with a wry, occasionally dark, edge. It's unlikely, for example, that anyone else is going to sing a sentimental ditty about a neighbour's cat that sounds quite so pleadingly cacophonous. Spindly keyboards permeate throughout, perhaps heard to best effect during the spoken Gothic interlude of set-closer "Alan's Panics", not least in their combination with edgy guitar and choppy drums. It transpires that this is only their third gig together, but it's likely that they'll play a few more before their time is through.
Next up are Cissy, willfully vocal-free and even more entrenched in danceable garage sounds. In spite of an over-healthy disrespect for time signatures that stretches the drummer to the limit, they actually keep quite a taut line through this set. Those who eschew "songs", as such, render themselves difficult to review through casual lyrical reference. However, the sight of guitar and bass trading energetic poses with one another at stage-front is memorable enough to separate individual tunes in the mind. "A Dolphus" is a bizarrely jittery little number that requires the impromptu invention of new (and somewhat demanding) dance moves, whilst "Cissy Thunder" came over like "I'm A Man" devoid of vocal histrionics. Overall, though, the most memorable thing about this outfit was the keyboard / mini-Korg / laptop powerhouse operating from behind the speaker stack, stage left. It may have been hidden from view but it truly defined the sound.
Headlining tonight are Wonderswan - earnest and competent sludge-rockers. The sound is dense and the room reverberates dutifully. The assembled company dig the grungy sounds but the singer is unimpressed, calling for all manner of technical checks. He misses the point, however, as the reverb and lack of pinpoint sonic precision are what define the sound here. Maybe he felt that the original mix was insufficiently fuzzy; who knows? Anyone in the direct line of fire of the speakers gets to feel the full force of their output - and everyone else gets a pretty good idea by association. Set-closer 'Curve' goes down particularly well and, when the full contents of the room decamp en masse down to the bar, it suddenly seems crowded as a result. This is a venue that cares about its music, and tonight's line-up - in turn - harboured musicians that provided something worthy of being listened to: all in all, another healthy report from the front line of Leeds D.I.Y. gigging.
Afrobeat / post-punk / synth party bangers explore space and time in skewed fashion!