The first band up tonight are Paper Plane Crash, a tightly knit three piece, front by Bod, arguably better known for playing bass with indie-pop kings Fonda 500 - but here she is fronting her own band. Getting over some early sound problems, most noticeably just not being loud enough, they get things off to a belting start. With a clear enthusiasm for 80s -90s American indie, there are hints of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr, which is no bad thing to this writer's ears. There is a melancholic tinge to the songs, but with song subjects including “driving through a desert” and “Vikings”, they aren’t your typical sad songs. The band aren’t ones for moping around either. Instead, they kick out a new-wavey type jam, all nervy energy and fuzzy guitars that compliment and add texture to Bod’s songs that she belts out with joy After a year and a bit of gigging they seem to be finding their feet, and with some great songs already in the bag, as they show tonight, it’ll be interesting to hear how they come out once they commit them to tape.
There is an arrogant swagger to The Wax Dramatic, but fortunately for them it fits in perfectly with their brash, in-your-face concoction of energetic electro and beat-driven indie rock. The band are squeezed in to the corner of the Jamcafe that tonight has become the make-shift stage and play it like they are playing to a packed Rock City rather than a sweaty and crammed cafe on a drizzly Friday night in Notts. The euphoric rush of their music is perfect for those preparing themselves for a hedonistic weekend, with their songs being more chemical than elemental. They end with Colours, a song built around a huge wall of guitars and for all its credibility, so blatantly rips-off Love Will Tear Us Apart that I expect the Joy Division estate to be finding the number for their lawyer as I type.
The night ends with a set from the latest signings to Denizen Recordings, Kappa Gamma. Previously known as Cromwell Street, watching them tonight you can understand why people are stuffed in to all four corners of the cafe craning their necks just to catch a brief glimpse of the band. Even though it is still pretty early days for them, you get the sense that there is something special going on here. They take Foals as their template, all tightly wound and snake like rhythms, but there is a much more of a dream like quality to their music. The guitars and twinkle and shimmer and dance around as if on tip-toes, and underlying all this is the bass guitar supplying subtle and warm melodies on which the whole thing hangs. The drummer makes for fascinating viewing, taking ownership of his kit like he’s in an experimental jazz rock band, switching in a instant between gentle brush strokes and crashing cymbals and clearly having the time of his life. The songs swoon and the band clearly know their way around a gorgeous melody. They are the perfect winter warmers for cold nights like this.
Paper Plane Crash, The Wax Dramatic and Kappa Gamma played at the Jamcafe on Friday 11 November 2011.
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