Futurepunk. What’s that then? Yet another sub genre in the Goth/Industrial school of music? Could well be! It certainly seemed to cause a stir with the industrial crowd as The Purple Turtle in Camden was exceptionally busy for a Thursday evening, and The Purple Turtle feels so much more like a venue rather than a pub which hosts live acts every once in a while. Dark, Dingy, Cider flowing in large quantities – perfect for a Futurepunk event!
Snuff Radio began the evening’s proceedings with some beautifully noisy sounds and anarchic vocals. Dale and Matt have a great stage presence – Matt the calm music geek, pottering away with sounds and samples (using a PC and none of this laptop nonsense!) and Dale, the crazy front man shouting and screaming about politics. The only problem with their set is they held back a little on this occasion. They were obviously nervous (debut London gig – who wouldn’t be nervous?) and because of the nerves they really didn’t give it their all, although with a few more gigs they will gain a lot more confidence. They have the material, now just to fine tune the performance.
Xykogen were up next and produced an aural assault that was far from expected! Industrial, Punk, and Rap?! Yes, Mark Eris, rapping – that was definitely something worth seeing, and a much unexpected twist. Hearing Amon screaming and shouting, and watching him stomp around the stage did bring back some nostalgia for his former project, Arkham Asylum, somewhat, but Xykogen show some real promise – especially if they use Mog’s beautiful voice some more too. They certainly touch a lot of bases in their sound and that can either be too much to some, or a refreshing change. On this occasion it was definitely a refreshing change. A band to keep an eye on.
At this juncture, things got a little bit dubious. Action Directe. Musically, not bad at all, all loud crashing guitars and attitude, but the vocals were really lacking in any form of charisma. The vocalist was literally barking into the mic, and this created a mostly unpleasant wall of noise. Also their cross breeding of Industrial Metal with Oi! Punk vocals were a little hard to take. They were closely followed by History of Guns. Same noisy guitars and attitude as Action Directe, but the vocalist didn’t quite have his own style. Most of the audience members mentioned Andrew Eldritch (Sisters of Mercy), Justin Sullivan (New Model Army) and Ian Curtis (Joy Division) as a basis for comparison, if he were singing in a Goth band he wouldn’t be doing too badly at all, but that style doesn’t really lend any weight to this new ‘Futurepunk’ sound.
Deathboy, however, can do no wrong at the moment. Having just recently released their latest CD offering End of an Error, an excellent album, full of dark, soulful, punk tinged Industrial with nods to Gary Numan and Pop Will Eat Itself, they were the perfect choice for headlining the first Futurepunk night. Starting with live favourite Cheap Shot, they really do come across as a more focused, and confident unit these days, and becoming a 5 piece live with Lee Chaos from Chaos Engine, adds much more depth to their sound. Smile You F*ckers got the audience bouncing and hearing We Will Destroy for the first time in a long time was a great addition to their set. The only thing that let them down was the sound in The Purple Turtle was a little dull, but that is the only complaint. It’s definitely good to be seeing Deathboy back on the live circuit again.
In all the Futurepunk night was a real success and got quite a few bodies through the doors (which is very good for a Thursday night), some excellent music, and a great atmosphere. Bring on the next one!
Words by Kate Turgoose. Photo taken from Anxious Silence's flickr stream.
Read our interview with headliners Deathboy.