Posted by Karl Greenwood.
Reviewed on 18th October 2005.
Live at Mixing Tin on Tuesday, 11th October 2005
Regardless of drawing the short straw and getting the booby prize of first slot in tonight's line up, Movement appear to not give a flying turd that the crowd is thin and they are on before your granny's bed time. Craggy and dishevelled with their knacker-unfriendly tight jeans and shoes so pointy that they could kill a man in one kick, they finally get their cue to load up and entertain the masses (well approx 20 people but steadily rising). As soon as the plectrum lacerates the first chord both the lead singers' knee caps seem to spasm and jolt erratically, moving like androids that have just had copious amounts of liquid thrown over their circuit boards, perpendicular from the waist upwards, Movement ostracise themselves from the garage rock and indie sound by replenishing the late seventies murky clamour of artists such as Magazine and Section 25. Nasal whines screech out from one of the two lead singers, a replica of Magazines Howard Devoto's atypical and deranged delivery blended with the ordinary but pleasant enough voice of their second singer, a combo which works swimmingly well with each voice threading and filling out the crevices of the little space left within the music. Movement cram a wide selection of ideas and emotion into a tight and loud package, it's fast and furious and fills the room like an insidious gas. By no means of the imagination are these the most melodious or greatest band you'll ever hear but you if you submerge yourself within their dark force-field of energy and vibrancy, Movements potential could swell like a huge spot on the face of the Leeds Music Scene.
The Voyeurs are the exact opposite of Movement, they're chirpy and cheerful chaps that attempt to dance and clown about on stage and one could see this as amusingly entertaining the other could see this as alarm-going-off-in-the-morning annoying. Their antics gauge any sense of seriousness from their set, the guitarist who looks like a grown up Huckleberry Finn with his straw hat and sandals on constantly tried to steal the show by pulling irritable faces and acting like a kid playing his first gig. You could give them 11 out of 10 for trying but when you try too hard it results to a dissatisfying, almost contrived performance. They have fun on stage which is great for them but it dilutes the hard work spent on the sound blasting out and the audience are obviously desensitised by the fun waves generated from the active stage. Musically it's like a kaleidoscope mix of Rolling Stones, a dash of New order and a pinch of The Stone Roses with text book Rock and Roll licks. 'Like It' and 'Feeling It Now' were the highlight tracks of their set and I suppose if everyone in the room was shit-faced the outlook may have been totally different. It's not all doom and gloom for The Voyeurs and if they toned it down a peg or twelve I'm sure there are plenty of people out there which would embrace such a band. Although they will never be at the top of a muso's want to see list they will never be at the bottom of it either.
The Clerks are the third band on, this quartet formed in a basement in Paris in 2004 whilst at Cinema School, what a grand and romantic birth of this great band. Their music is awe-inspiring, a diversion that allows you to retreat from everyday life and engulf your whole conscious thought and effort to these endearing music makers. The drumming is wonderfully buoyant and well crafted with each beat being played as though it's the drummers last. The tempo is incessant; the vocals are coated with charm and devotion with Maximilien's (the guitarist) backing vocals counterbalancing Alexander's (lead vocalist) slender and sturdy voice. Looking like a shop assistant at Marks and Spencers Alexandra defies all logic as her powerful voice and performance leaps out of this petite and fragile looking girl. It's amazing, just like the rest of the band, the track International Trust constantly repeats the word International in the chorus, how can this remain interesting you may ask, I don't know how- it just sounds ace. They never become a nuisance, they never fail to deliver, and they have such an aura, a presence about them you wish you could suck it out of them, store it in a bottle and sell it making you filthy rich along the way.
Last but not least is Dead Disco, an all girl band whose desire and passion for success protrudes from them at all angles. The breeze blocks for stardom are in place, the Dead Disco T-shirts, the Dead Disco CDs, the outfits, the image, all fit together like little pixels and is very impressive. You think maybe just maybe you could be on the verge of seeing something very special here and this could possibly be the last chance you get to see these girls in such a small environment. However, there is just one thing that spoils the party and that is the music. The 80's electro-punk sound fails to back up everything that is right with the band, it is a noise that appears disorientated with little sense of direction which demolishes their manifest appetite towards glory. It is disappointing because they are silhouettes of the band you imagined they could be. There is a fabulous chemistry, these girls are meant to be together, and the picturesque line up of Victoria playing simple Atari riffs on the Korg rk-100, with Lucy, Marie and Kirsty thrashing and binding it all together with effortless dexterity is momentarily invigorating. Dead Disco are by no means dead (excuse the pun) with the crowds' reaction suggesting the future has a lot to offer for this lovable band. They are nowhere near the band they could be but if they slightly modified their music with flimsy precision they could be awesome.