Tuesday, 10 November 2009

gigsplurge 4: capdown & king prawn, april 2000

Capdown & King Prawn, Bullingdon Arms, Oxford, 3 April 2000

Militant ska punk, indeed. I'm happy to believe kids still get down to this sort of fun and always will. Not that Capdown seemed too pleased about how things had turned out, the last time I saw them. Capitalism's Downfall, to give them their due (I think), were a pretty straight-ahead safe-bet on this occasion, though, hoping hard for 'change' when they weren't rollerskating or pulling at their trousers.

In this most serious of genres, though, a little fun goes a long way--something the mighty King Prawn worked out early. Regular stand-outs on those mix CDs sold in Camden millinery outlets, rubbing shoulders with bands called things like Dub Skeletor and Bumface, King Prawn spent ten years as the most energetic band on the toilet circuit, pitching up halfway between 'Check Your Head' and the first Rage Against the Machine album, and with a beserk bearded bald bassist to boot.

This show was in support of third album, 'Surrender to the Blender'. A bid for a modest amount of crossover success--lead single 'Day In Day Out' turned up on the soundtrack of Channel 4 drama Teachers, for real--the album also saw them begin to trail off.

Never too confident with an idea that lasted longer than a kick-ass riff or merry horn solo, King Prawn failed to make the leap to producing records people wanted to buy, splitting in 2003. A late single sounded a bit like Linkin Park--not that people begrudged buying the odd Linkin Park record. In a venue too small for their demented energy, though, not to be beat.

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