The Art Organisation always has a fabulously warehousey, D.I.Y. feel to it as a venue, but I’ve only seen bands downstairs before - it can work brilliantly with the right kind of acts to fill it, but otherwise it can be a bit reminiscent of a school disco. Tonight’s gig took place upstairs, and the more intimate setting suited the bands without losing the loft-party feel.
|Prize Pets - photo by Debbie Davies|
First up were Prize Pets – a promising, fresh-faced foursome with links to bands such as Lovvers and Human Hair. They took to the boards with vigour, two guitars alternating between bright jangles and surf-waves provided an upbeat turn, lack of bass and stupendously reverby shout-singing making the best of the space in the music. The singer hopped about like a demented Ian Curtis, deliberately ignoring the crowd bouncing around in front. They finished with single New Weirdos, forthcoming on Brighton label ‘Sex is Disgusting’…go figure!
|Picore - photo by Debbie Davies|
Next, Picore (Magofermin); hailing from Zaragossa, sporting an impressive array of facial hair including a particularly fine porno ‘tache on bass. Their set unfolded like the soundtrack to an auto da fé, building on sinister writhing guitar riffs to an almighty fiery crescendo - you could almost taste the greasy black smoke of burning heretics. Reference points which sprang to mind were Jesus Lizard, At the Drive In, Polvo and in a weird way, the Pixies…although I’m not sure whether I was simply bamboozled by Spanish lyrics here. Perhaps most impressive were the incredibly complex rhythmic patterns performed with total energy and meticulous precision – plenty of people were attempting to bop but simply couldn’t keep up with the awesome drummer.
|Bilge Pump - photo by Debbie Davies|
The coup de grace was Bilge Pump (Gringo Records), hailing from Leeds and famed for their inspired live performances. They don’t exactly look the part – if you were to put them in a school environment Emlyn (bass/vocals) would be the precise and sarcastic physics teacher who doesn’t suffer fools; Neil (drums) the affable Geography teacher, Joe (guitar/vocals) the PE teacher teetering on the verge of psychosis. Together on stage, they are a lesson to us all. Flying in the face of convention, their experience and instinctive musicianship makes each song seem to flow effortlessly despite ‘avant-jazz’ beats, massively complex riffs and art-punk noise topped by bitten-off, humorous lyrics – “I like their style….thank you very much!”
Photos by Debbie Davies (c)
Bilge Pump, Picore, and Prize Pets played at The Art Organisation on Saturday 6 March 2010