Posted by Campbell McNeill.
Reviewed on 4th February 2008.
Live at Cardigan Arms on Saturday, 2nd February 2008
It wasn't a huge crowd that braved the Kirkstall Road winds to see these 4 bands in The Moog Productions evening at The Cardigan Arms. Tiny Tigers, Shakinouts and Inner City Sumo provided the indie/metal wall of sound but it was Plastic Fuzz who shone through and proved the adage that you really shouldn't miss the first band.
Mark Shahid, for he is Plastic Fuzz, took to the stage with an acoustic guitar and a gamut of electronics balanced on a barstool. The next half hour was really a beautiful set of contradictions. An acoustic guitar connected to sequencer playing folk inspired songs with a Kraftwerk inspired backing. The sound was huge and yet it wasn't turned up to 11 for the hell of it. This is clever yet simple pop music that manages to challenge and entertain.
Dressed for the evening in black suit and red tie Mark Shahid takes his style and presence seriously and well he should. This is good stuff.
Next up were new London indie band Tiny Tigers who combine the alt. rock of American college radio with the Brit pop sound of the late nineties, shouty but with lovely tags and hooks. Initially a bit of a wall of sound, the set came together towards the end as they slowed down and the melodies came through. Lead singer, Angela Martin, doing her best Justine Frischmann on the Elastica sounding 'Repetition' closing a set that got better and better.
Leeds' band the Shakinouts are a 4-piece blokes band who have been gigging in Leeds for the past 18 months and were tight as a button. The Cardigan Arms acoustics couldn't really do justice to their anthemic, 'Pigeon Detectives-esque' sound but interest is rising and with a cool video and recent single release 'Time you were told' this is a band heading for commercial success.
Headliners Inner City Sumo played a funk/metal set with tunes reminiscent of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Proud of their new bass guitarist they belted through a set that had the crowd at the front of the stage. Sounds again that would probably sound better in the Hollywood Bowl rather than a room the size of recording studio. Their technical skills were fantastic.
Tiny Tigers provided indie, Shakinouts provided the 'I saw them in The Cardigan Arms don't you know' and Inner City Sumo will gig for life on the skills of the lead guitarist alone but it was Mark Shahid's originality and spectacle that stole the night. As the singer from Inner City Sumo summarised,' that guy in the red tie was weird but brilliant!'
indie pop alternative