Wild Smiles / Tail Feather / CuT / Teenage Mothers
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
August 20th 2013
Hoxton Square, Hackney – home to one of London’s hottest centres of new media, birthplace of the hymn Amazing Grace and venue for some of the best free concerts in London. For Louder Than War Keith Goldhanger checks out exactly how sweet the sound really is.
Another Tuesday evening in London’s swanky Hoxton square and another free gig.
This area may be hell on earth during the weekend and some of it looks financially out of bounds to some of us. During mid-week however, free from all the youths in their top man gear and late night drinking habits, it’s actually rather a nice place.
Some things around here are free to get into.
Not always, but it’s worth sticking your favourite bars onto your favourites bar just to keep an eye out on what’s going on.
This one arranged by IAM (Independent Artist Movement) and with help from “MAMA” (no idea what this stands for but they do seem to be involved with quite a few venues around London at the moment) is one of many free (and not free gigs) we’ve walked in on this year and very much like a few other people we’ve bumped into recently are another organisation with ears firmly in the right place (one each side of their heads in case you were wondering).
Four bands and again, each one offering something that is of a high standard.
Teenage Mothers, from Australia seem to be spending the week in the capital playing as many gigs that they can get their weary legs to. They seem to be here to also plug a book that guitarist Raphael Brous has written. The dual vocals are a delight to listen to and we can pick out things about women who have left them for other men and how they might go and bash them up or something. There’s a lot of hair being thrown around and it’s all a bit of a racket however we think this might be worth giving a second look at some time as the bar was beckoning half way through and it was happy hour.
Actually, it wasn’t.
My phone rang….
….something about a garden shed.
Next up were CuT……The sharp eyed would have seen and hopefully read about the effect this lot had on some of us earlier this year and it seems there’s a lot of good stuff going on that people are one by one beginning to leave their front doors to have a peep at to appreciate what a spectacle this lot are. Yes, it’s all also a big fucking racket we’re hearing (bigger and better than the previous band) and a show that has us wondering which way to look as these four individuals bop down , stand tall, occasionally jump up in the air whilst singing and shouting in unison whilst sounding like all the best bands should. Dirty dumb rock and roll swathed with noise and hidden harmonies that swap direction and keep us all interested and wondering if the day will ever arrive when anyone apart from this young lad holding the sticks at the back will ever bash seven shades of shit out of anything as fast and hard as we’re seeing here (although at times tonight we’re still struggling to actually hear!)
Some may wonder how this is going to sound once recreated in the confines of a studio.
Here’s a clue
I’ve heard it.
It’s brilliant, and you’ll hear it too very soon (watch this space)
Following CuT we have a band that make us realise this is turning into yet another decent night out.
Tail Feather begin slow but by the end of their short set make us decide that this lot need their music introduced to our living rooms soon. They sound a little like the ‘Stones did in the late seventies, and a bit like the psychedelic Beatles stuff. And the Floyd (the band not the chef)…and they’re going to hate me for this but their new single or what ever it is that was made available recently sounds and looks like “The Rutles“.
This is no bad thing and has has been the most played tune on our speakers this week. Their four part harmonies, although not exactly to the high standard of Goldheart Assembly have us stroking our chins and going Mmmmm….let’s find where these are from (Reading apparently) and get some more of their blues inspired riffs aided with the help of a “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” effects pedal – maybe / probably / maybe not / probably not…. ( I think they will really hate me now…..)
Wild Smiles are ace. This three piece are another one of those bands that should have people falling in love with them as soon as eyes and ears have made contact. They hit the spot that our old favourites Nirvana once hit. This is no way to suggest that they sound like the Seattle grunge heroes because they don’t. Even if their tunes are slightly influenced by that gender the record shops call grunge their tunes may be closer to Dinosaur Jr (do record shops call Dinosaur Jr grunge – It’s been a while since I’ve been in one ?). Remember when you first started falling in love with “Freakscene” ? Not that any of their tunes sound like this great song but they do remind you on how you felt at the time. If our chief here at LTW has some space in his back garden for another video then ….Oh…too late, look they’ve already made one (but not in anyone’s back yard).
Yet again we leave the venue wondering where all the people are that were equally as obsessive with this stuff a few years ago (married, children, jobs, financially fucked since spending all that money this week on tickets to go and see Two Door Cinema Club at the O2 in a few months time…) who would equally love this lot and yet again we’re reminded that Wild Smiles, along with every other ace band around at the moment are up against equally impressive opposition who are equally as available whether at the end of our finger tips or in another big dark room that doesn’t bother asking people for money to walk through.
If you have those fingers ready then have a listen to what I’m on about …
All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here.