On 15th April 2008 at 13:39 Anonymous 7047 wrote...
Sammy Thomson, you don't know what you are talking about.
Posted by Sammy Thomson.
Reviewed on 17th February 2008.
Live at HiFi Club on Thursday, 7th February 2008
A small crowd have assembled in the plush surroundings of the Hifi club to see what this month's New Slang has to offer. Given that most nights this club is home to live soul, funk and jazz, it is perhaps not the obvious venue to host a pair of bands who infuse a definite punk element to their music. However, the quality acoustics and comfortable atmosphere make Hifi instantly preferable to many of the city's dark, cramped function rooms hosting similar nights.
Being a couple of years older than most in attendance, The Chapman Family seem an odd choice of band for a student night. Whilst their songs are energetic and hook-laden, ultimately they lack melody. At times, their well-crafted, post-punk offerings show glimpses of Joy Division and, unexpectedly, The Futureheads. Yet, despite being obviously well rehearsed, they are chaotic, often to the detriment of their sound, (the drummer seems too busy doing his best Iggy Pop impression to care). They start with an ill-advised accordion-based number (it may work for Arcade Fire, but in this context it just seems gimmicky), and end their set by tossing their guitars to the ground and drowning the room in feedback. There's a time and a place for this kind of brash showmanship, but it's not here, and it's not now.
Any hopes of the night improving fade when The Chiara L's set is thwarted by technical problems uncharacteristic to the venue. A lack of sound on the stage forces the band to stop after one song, much to the frustration of their small crowd of followers who have made their way to the front. After much shouting and feedback, they get going again, but this early setback seems to dampen their enthusiasm. On record, their punky, angular pop is sometimes reminiscent of early Blondie, yet they lack edge and are largely forgettable. Unfortunately, any promise they do have is not translated to their live performance. Indeed, Chiara and her band seem quite glad to leave the stage.
All in all it's a disappointing evening. Both bands have a certain presence, but struggle to leave a lasting impression.