Posted by Chris Woolford.
Reviewed on 24th February 2007.
Live at Brudenell Social Club on Thursday, 22nd February 2007
The Engine Room is made of metal this evening as the most entertaining DIY night in Leeds introduces us to three bands that are as heavy as led - The Butterfly, Mishkin and the wonderfully titled White Boys for No.10 Down Syndrome Street (more usually known as (the slightly more offensive) White Boys For Gay Jesus).
Mishkin are first on. Attired in fancy dress we see a monk, a school boy and a wild gypsy thing clamber up on to the Brudenell's high-rise stage. If it wasn't for the high volume of dreadlocks under their crazy hoods and hats we could be mistaken for thinking we're here to watch a depraved version of The Sound of Music.
Mishkin play a unique brand of funk-emo-metal which scrabbles around all three genres looking to hook itself into your brain. Early on their set blows the brass monkeys away with platinum rap-metal riffs reminiscent of Rage at their best.
Their gig eventually begins to break down into a mix of Chilli's funk and Funeral For A Friend style emo. Overall it's not bad but it's just not amazing. Everything feels very American and lacking a unique style. Still there are TV cameras here to see them (Look North I believe) and a mosh-pit full of adoring fans that look like the cast of a pumped-up Kevin Smith film as they charge into each other in ridiculous fancy dress.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that White Boys For Gay Jesus were a post-rock band as you watch two pretty boys doodle their way through a five minute instrumental using electronic drum pads and E-bows. That's until a Mohican drummer, a shaven headed skeletal looking bass player and a mad-hatted singer with big bulging eyes gatecrash the stage.
The band then proceed to thrash their way through a hardcore metal set at the speed of a silver bullet. Technically it's bordering on brilliant, visually it's horrifying. While you're thinking about how you could probably fit your own head in the bass player's gaping mouth, their singer is busy sucking your eye balls out of their sockets with a blackboard scraping inhalation of air that would bring down the twin towers.
Combining 65 Days of Static post-rock electronics with Mike Patton-esque experimental noise they sing, sorry scream, amusing songs about pies in faces, beetles in gatherings and wavering hands in grubby pants. It comes to an almighty end with the darkest cover of Bros' 'When Will I Be Famous' you'll ever witness and a song about napalming bunnies.
If it wasn't for the fact that your ears need to take an SAS steel man style physical before listening to them, White Boys would probably be everybody's favourite anti-religious pro-homosexual anti-establishment pro-Pies rape jazz metal band. They're certainly mine.
The traditional Engine Room quiz welcomes its special guest Slash to the stage. Well it's not Slash, it's Dodge, Engine Room curator extraordinaire, in a big hat with a Les Paul and a fag. He plays a few riffs and audience members rugby tackle each other to get to the stage. All in order to win some sweaty pants. Crazy times.
Quiz over we close with The Butterfly. This band are impossible to pigeon-hole. Playing operatic-multi-genre-pop-metal they cover all potential bases. We blast through funk, hip hop, dark electro, RnB, soul, folk, rave and funk. And that's all in the space of one song.
They should really be called The Butterfly Six. They're metal's prodigal sons of Electric Six and, closer to home, Leeds' Scaramanga Six. Maybe even Six-tem Of A Down. Sorry, that's terrible, System Of A Down.
Mad as biscuits The Butterfly's four members shoot across the stage at every opportunity, making much fun and mockery in their outlandish outfits. Tonight their sound is a little rusty but you just can't fault The Butterfly for pure entertainment value.
As the set reaches its climax, their loon of a singer dives off the stage and shoots through the fire doors. Everyone stares at each other in lost bemusement. Then...
"Ring, ring. Ring, ring."
Is that the sound of a phone on stage? It is and it that the voice of The Butterfly's now departed main man?
"Hello! Help! I'm lost inside myself! I need, I need, I need more power!"
Before we realise what's going on he's run back inside the Brudenell, wrestled a few fans down onto the crowd, picked up his guitar and is screaming more power, more power down the mic! Absolute madness and at the same time absolute genius.
A platinum night for next to no brass at all. Gold medal to the Engine Room.