Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 21st October 2000
Entering the Cockpit the first thing that hits you is the heat, the second is the fact that Brassy are already on stage. I know nothing about Brassy, sorry, knew nothing. I know now that this is a band I definitely want to find out more about...spiky female vocals over a deep and dirty bass, heavy drums, interspersed with decks and some crunching guitar. Unfortunately the crowd don't really seem too into it and it's a shame. You get the feeling that the band could play exactly the same to a different crowd and it could be a much better gig. A good crowd definitely makes a big difference.
It makes no odds to Brassy though, they churn out their brand of rap/rock with tinges of dance, giving their all. When the drummer switches so fluidly between his kit and his decks Brassy's appeal is at it's strongest, one minute you have a full on rock assault and the next the guitar still throws out the same riff but now you have a dance beat underneath. A very tight performance from a band I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from. Quality.
The now familiar Soulwax backdrop and flashing mic stands adorn the stage. Everyone has pushed down the front and there's an air of anticipation. I first saw Soulwax at the Duchess where they blew Muse off the stage. That was the first time I'd heard of them, tonight I know what to expect.
Dressed in tan coloured suits the boys stroll on stage and as for Hilary JJ72 being the sexiest woman in rock...forget it...Soulwax keyboard player Inge looks stunning and has stolen Hilary's crown I feel.
Opening with "Funny" the crowd's earlier sedateness has passed and everyone is jumping around going crazy for the techno rock. David Dewale's guitar playing is exceptional and could easily be the focal point of the band, especially on tracks like "Conversation Intercom" where he cranks up the dirt on his acoustic guitar and displays some fine slide work. Luckily for the band, and for us, the balance is perfect, the guitar has it's place to shine but so does everyone else. Inge is cool and composed at the back whilst Stephen Dewale has all the hallmarks of great front man, strutting around the stage with style, even taking time to sign some photos.
"Scream" displays the band's more melancholy side, proving that they can handle soft, graceful melodies just as skilfully as the more high octane tracks. The highlight is "Too Many DJ's". Propelled by a monster drum beat, it sees everyone bouncing around, the energy is intense and sweat is virtually dripping from the ceiling. Soulwax rock tonight. Hopefully we'll see them higher on next years festival bills and a lot more of them in general.