A Place To Bury Strangers @ Camden Barfly
05 January 2010
The fact that free gigs are free can be one of their downfalls. People will attend simply because of the price tag rather than their particular interest in the music. Luckily tonight's gig avoids falling fowl of this, writes SG Parson.
Sailor Jerry is the latest in a long line of brands that realise people like to drink and listen to live music. Tonight they host three acts at the Barfly in Camden.
The Sian Alice Band open the night with their brand of rhythmic, almost tribal drumming. The incessant beat runs throughout their set, driving the sound along under Sian Ahern’s haunting vocals. It sounds like music written for apocalyptic montages: as the world crashed down around them they probably wouldn’t notice, or care. The bodies on stage, bathed in blue and green light only break out of their hypnosis as the set comes to a close with a simple, “Thank you.”
Once the spell cast upon the crowd begins to fade the second act hit the stage. Rather uncomfortably sandwiched between Sian Alice Group and the headliners are Airship. Following the haunting doom of the first act this verse/chorus/verse indie rock band seem rather out of place. The band trudge through their set unaware the 90’s are long lost in the past. The singer’s moustache is wonderful but the band offer little more to appreciate.
After a lengthy delay the headliners, A Place To Bury Strangers, hit the stage. Known as the loudest band in New York, and for having a hostile attitude, it seems apt that bassist Jono MOFO hits the stage sporting a massive black eye. He spends the entire show leering at the crowd as if he’s still looking for the culprit.
With just a guitar, bass and drums the band shovel wave upon wave of distortion upon the audience, who suddenly start to come alive. Trance-inducing, fuzz soaked bass riffs and pounding tom-tom drums pick up where the Sian Alice Band left off. Their wall of sound influence is clear, with the band borrowing from punk and other noise pop too. Sporadically guitarist Oliver Ackermann departs from ignoring the audience and comes to the microphone to sing. His tangible vocals and occasionally burst of catchy guitar licks seem out of place upon this wave of noise. The band march through their set allowing for feedback and fuzz to segue between tracks. The audience love it and navigate easily between these ‘pauses’ to shout back the lyrics at the unappreciative band. After a lengthy set the three members leave the stage, the noise ends and the sweaty crowd spill out for air. Job done.
By SG Parson.
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