Welcome to the new slot for Notes From The City, joining Friday Film News (which is, um, now on Saturdays) to bring you cultural edification on the weekend.
As the seasons shift and change, so the outdoor gigs keep coming in. This week it's all about fireworks and Christmas lights and the public seem to love both! In the summer it's great to play on outdoor stages but as the wintry chill sets in it's time to bring out the thermals and jumpers in true rock 'n' roll style.
The other day I played my very first shopping centre gig, and where better than Manchester's surreal Trafford Centre? With street names, fake clouds painted up near where the sky would be, 55 restaurants and its very own Chinatown it was a most confusing place. We went on and played a couple of songs after Fred from Coronation Street and a man who I'm sure was Warwick Davis (Willow, Harry Potter) did their thing. I was trying my new super dooper attenuation earplugs for the first time which made the fact that the sound man didn't switch the monitors on even weirder. Apparently the audience could hear the songs even if we couldn't on stage, so that's ok!
Earlier in the week I ventured out in the cold to see the marvellous Bretton play at The Windmill in Brixton. They don't have any music online yet (as singer/guitarist/bassist/pedal king Roman said between songs, "We don't have a demo, we don't have a MySpace page, we don't have a record coming out - please help us!") but think experimental Tom Vek style bass and guitar sounds with really cool cross-rhythm drumming and dour but somehow uplifting vocals. They make a big, big sound for a two piece and they dealt with an indifferent soundman really well.
Bretton play The Metro Club on November 4th.
Next up Infants took to the stage. Apart from standing out by having a GIRL in the band PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT, no less, they brought with them a welcome blast of wild noise. Dirty, throbbing Korg sounds overlaid by super quick riffs and weird guitar noises over monstrously pounding drums with rhythmic, shouty boy rap and high pitched, rage-filled girl screams on top. Nice!
Hailing from Oslo, Tokyo and London, Infants have a 7" coming out on Tigertrap Records (who have also released singles for the marvellous Popular Workshop) in early 2007 and will be releasing a CD single alongside containing all the parts to the tracks so that anyone can have a go at remixing or bootlegging them. They're a busy bunch but Bill had the time to send me some more news:
"Also doing a bit more remixing (did you hear the one we did for Clor?) - in progress is a remix swap for New York's 'Drop the Lime' grime/booty/techno extrordinaire - for release on Tigerbeat6 - we can't wait to hear the one he's doing for us.
Gonna be doing some new recording soon too, probably with Tim from Part Chimp, an awesome band we played with recently. Oh and we're trying to get a UK tour together for next February. Wow did I just fill the whole box?"
Artrocker @ Buffalo Bar, Highbury (with 586) on 14th November
The Fly, New Oxford Street (with Shakes) 19th November
InFest @ The Luminaire (with Selfish Cunt + Headless + more tbc) on 25th November
It's been a while since I went to a gallery because I've been way too busy with music but I just had to visit Battersea Power Station last week for the China Power Station - Part 1 exhibition. I wasn't hugely keen on the artistic content - the huge rooms within building looked really cool filled with video screens but the majority of the pieces themselves seemed to lack real originality or substance - but the backdrop of the power station was quite breathtaking. I was dreading the obligatory timed tour listed on the website but they
seem to have abandoned that and photography was permitted when I went. The exhibition runs until November 5th so there's still time to get over there but
watch out for the Yauatcha Cafe - my boyfriend and I had some tea in there and it cost £7.65 for a pot! The one time I don't ask before ordering...
This Week's Five
1. The Information - Infants
2. Boys Wanna Be Her - Peaches
3. TKO - Le Tigre
4. Succexy - Metric
5. My Space - Chicks On Speed
Photo from FurryJumperGirl's Flickr stream.