Saturday, 19 December 2009

Review | An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump

by Little Miss B, 15th Dec 2009...

An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump EP Launch | Buy A Life

The Victoria, Mile End, Thurs 10th Dec.
Support by Veronica Falls and Battant.

With a line-up like this, the launch of An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump's EP Buy A Life was always going to be a good night. However, I didn't bank on it being quite SO good. Playing at the brilliant The Victoria in Mile End, a dreary Thursday night was transformed into sheer brilliance at the hands of three phenomenal bands.

East London based electroclash trio Battant churn out dark, moody, synth inspired punk, reminiscent of bands such as Joy Division and Ladytron. Fronted by Chloe Raunet, with Joel Dever and Tim Fairplay playing back up, this band are a surprising live treat. I've heard their music before, but have never seen them on stage, and I'm pleased to say my expectations were well surpassed.

Chloe has a presence rarely found in such young frontwomen, made all the more appealing by her fiercely androgynous look, plain white vest and suspendered jeans. Obvious vocal comparisons would be to Ari Up and Siouxsie Soux, but Chloe's lack of vocal dramatics maintain the authenticity of this performance. This is not aping: Battant are very much their own band. Couple this with the interesting polarity of natural ease, and slightly awkward stage antics and you are rendered hopelessly in awe.

Unfortunately, a few songs sounded quite similar but there's certainly enough here to get excited about. 'Kevin 1989' and 'Radio Rod' are little gems, and genuinely make me keen to find out what this band will do next. Battant released album 'No Head' in May 09 and have officially become my new musical obsession. Expect to see a lot more about them across the pages of The Girls Are...

If you have never seen Veronica Falls play then I COMMAND and DEMAND that you rectify this epic fail immediately. Imagine pure joy, personified, holding instruments, and you might come close to imagining this band. Veronica Falls are Patrick, James, Marion and lead singer Roxanne, and on this night were pure frackin brilliance. Akin to such shoegaze and C86 bands as Comet Gain and Black Tambourine, this foursome were blissful to behold: Marion on bass, barely moving, eyes down, Roxanne's exuberance on vox, James with his guitar up around his chin and Patrick pounding the drums, every single song was pure perfection.

The boys' harmonies, layered with Roxanne's slightly eerie vocals made for an atmospheric set, with songs 'Beechy Head' and 'Found Love In A Graveyard' pleasing the attentive crowd. As always with Veronica Falls, each song (although not flawless) is just as brilliant as the one that follows. Without a doubt, these guys are one of the best bands around. The January show with The Vivian Girls is going to be incredible. Gush gush gush. Veronica Falls are due to play at tomorrow at Barden's Boudoir on Kingsland Road with Male Bonding, Golden Grrls and Teen Sheikhs.

Photograph courtesy of Layla Smethurst...

If you have ever visited this site before, you will have garnered just how much I adore An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump. They are not indie, they are not punk: they nestle somewhere in the middle. A wonderfully dark place, with Lydia Lunch, Richard Kern, and Kenneth Anger as neighbours. With their distorted bass, intense reverb, gut-wrenching vocals and short songs, these three girls manage to capture the essence of many of the 80's goth bands, whilst thoroughly making it their own.

On this night, they blew me away (unsurprisingly).

They are one of the most hypnotic bands you will ever see: you literally cannot tear your eyes away. Smouldering, insanely hot, and just so effortlessly cool, the Experiment girls OWN the stage. All multi-instrumentalists, their set is fluid, with each girl taking turns on bass, vocals and drums. Visuals aside, being in the same room as these ladies playing is akin to being suffocated with noise. You cannot watch idly. You cannot have a conversation with the guy standing to your right (why would you want to when these girls are on stage??) You are forced into aural submission and when it's this lot making the noise, it's a pretty great place to be.

Their cover of Sonic Youth 's '100%' was received with cheers from the audience, and personal favourite 'Lights Out' was the standout track of the evening. X-Bird's vocals were akin to someone smacking you in the face, reaching into your torso and pulling your still-beating heart out, and showing it to you. In a nice way. One cannot help being utterly floored by this band. D-Bird really shines when drumming: head down, arms in the air. C-Bird really comes into her own on bass, hair swinging in her face. Outstanding.

You can buy Buy A Life here, and I recommend you do with urgency. Your life is incomplete without it.

To read more reviews by Little Miss B, click below:
Laura Marling 

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