Saturday, 21 November 2009

gigsplurge 17: blighted buzzbands at the bully, autumn 2000

In 2009 "buzz" is measured in blog postings, the apex being a snarky deflation on Hipster Runoff. In 2000 it comprised a 50-word puff-piece in indie bog-roll The Fly, and a word-of-mouth endorsement by gravel-voiced Bullingdon Arms promoter the Sarge. GMS saw an awful lot of bands at the Bully in the autumn of 2000, in the process of organising our own gigs. Each and every one had a buzz about them; let's see where that got them.

Holy Roman Empire were an endearing, confusing, local version of Bis. The girl on keyboards looked the indie-hairgrip part; then there was a bloke in YSL shirt who looked a bit out of place; then there was a chap in eyeliner with a string vest, something like Richey Manic crossed with Alec Empire but somewhat less than the sum of the parts. One of them banged a gong, which was big at the time on account of the Flaming Lips. No idea about the name.

Samurai Seven were also local, and did things like guitar windmills and scissor kicks. One of them made the local news as the victim of a drive-by with an air rifle. He survived, you'll be glad to hear, though I'll bet it hurt like a bugger.

Twister and Remote Control were on most of these bills, and are indistinguishable in my memory as the sort of bands who'd describe themselves as "glam-punk sluts", fronted as they were by balding men spooned into leather trousers on the basis that Placebo were still selling records "in Europe".

Foil were a couple of notches above this lot, having had a couple of reviews in Kerrang, comparing them to people like Kerbdog and Tribute To Nothing. Likeable though not thoroughly enjoyable, they were kind of hardcore tinged with Sebadoh.

Nought were (are?) an Oxford band who played guitars with drills and made a lovely great headache of a noise.

Marconi's Voodoo had massive basslines, buzzsaw guitars, gurning faces, bugger's grips and orange trousers, like a goonish version of Billy Mahonie. Or was that Rock of Travolta?

Fiver were like a miniature version of Beulah, in that they were thinner and named after a plucky rabbit.

Mote no idea.

Seafood had Sonic Youth guitars and Pavement left-turns and Sebadoh melodies and Uresei Yatsura, erm, bits. The sort of band to have a string of NME singles of the week, back when that was the case, they were proper enough to make a record with Steve Albini and go on tour with Kenickie. I think that means they win this post.

Lights were a clumsy indie-soul band that made me wonder if it was all worth it. They were supported by the Afternoons, who weren't that other band called Afternoons.

War Hen were fucking awesome.

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