Theee Bat / Umez – London – live review

Theee Bat / Umez
The Windmill, Brixton, London
10 October 2012

Live review

What better way to spend a wet weekday evening that watching some bonkers, energetic music rip through a small venue? No better way, that’s what. 

I thought we were all in agreement about the Vaccines yeah ? No. No…..? Uh…oooooh!

In a week where they appeared on the telly again and, OK, they sounded a bit like the Wedding Present and were sort of alright, it seems that the knives are out.

It could be a close call but I’m wondering if those knives (not real knives you understand -that would be terrible) are being held by people in this little room, in a little pub, in a little street and in the ARSE END OF BRIXTON?

Seeing the Vaccines on a night like this in a place like this would have been great but we never got that chance because they were swept from under our tapping toes before you could say “Wheelbarrow Music Industry Guest List”.

Stick a band such as Japanese noise makers Theee Bat on a huge stage or in a BBC studio and they MIGHT suffer the same fate. But no one will do this so we’ll probably never know because that appears to be how this industry works. You win some, you lose some.

We’re now inside this small room and it’s well past my bedtime. I’m here because I’m told THEEE BAT are better than “Melt Banana”, and if people really are willing to venture out for the second time in a week, in the rain, in the arse end of Brixton, then that’s enough to tempt me along and follow the crowd.

We’ve missed the band that “sounded like Suzi Quatro” (ask yr mum…) because the car needed washing. We got to see UMEZ who are a Japanese duo based in East London who make an unholy racket one minute and the sweetest krautrock shoegazing drones the next.

The male guitarist is wearing a gas mask. His female partner does not but she does sing like an angel and whatever she’s singing about is probably fantastic. One of their songs is called “I hope weather will be nice”. It’s not. It’s chucking it down out there but inside we get a mixture of unlistenable noise and beautiful moments such as a song called “GREEN DAY” which doesn’t sound like the band Green Day and neither should it.  It’s my tune of the week, if I had one, and it’s here:

They’ve just put up an album on their Bandcamp page and it’s great – I’ll be seeing these again.

Next, a band that sounded like “Mambo Taxi” (ask a Google search engine) fill the spot whilst I’m arranging for the decorators to turn up on Monday morning and then….BBBLLLLLEUUUUUUUUURGHHHHHHHHHH!!! …a girl with scarey eyes wearing a policeman’s helmet is on stage. Then off stage, then on stage, then on a table, standing on her head, then lying on on her back and pointing at anyone looking whilst thrashing her guitar in-between bouts of vocals before slamming into her co-guitarist who’s also wearing one of those hats, has a matching guitar and is screaming blue fuckin’ murder about his lost puppy or something.

But hold on….I’m sure he said “Summertime blues”……and I’m told its a cover version of “Summertime Blues” and “Jailhouse Rock” which I’m told is an old Elvis song (you’d never have known for sure but they stopped playing for 0.004 of a second so you could pick out these bits)……are these all cover versions? – damned if I know, but I did recognise the BATMAN theme.


I was busy looking at the one third of the band currently standing now on top of the merch stall (guess which member eh!) at the back of the room, with her head in between the fan blades, still pointing, still thrashing away as the drummer at the the other end of this tiny room and he’s pounding away as though his life depended on it. He’s wearing a leather jacket I think. And one of those policeman’s hats. I have no idea what they’re up to but it’s thrilling stuff nonetheless.

Also this week your writer has seen ; Bronze Medallists. Death Rattle. Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs . Woodpecker Wooliams & Firestaions – who were all very good.

Image by Trev Oddbox. Words by Keith Goldhanger. You can read more from Keith on LTW here.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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