Live review: FLUX & I’m Not From London all-nighter

3 Feb

Captain Dangerous, Hot Japanese Girl, Dead Spex and Spiders Eat Vinyl played at The Central on Saturday 23 January 2010

Reviewed forLeftLion.co.uk

The evening kicked off with Sheffield four-piece Spiders Eat Vinyl, whose sparse, lo-fi experimental rock was full of interesting twiddles and turns from intertwining lead guitar and synth. They churned out driving songs with an occasional jazzy groove provided by their excellent, nimble-fingered keyboard player.

Next up were the screaming, furious and ear-bleedingly noisy Dead Spex. With a name like that you would rightly expect punk, which is what the three lads delivered and more; their tunes were juttering, angular and chaotic, delivered in blistering short bursts with a healthy amount of screams and yelps. They delivered dancable, fun beats with more energy than seemed possible for the sum of their parts, and were enjoyable even for those of us who have never had a mohawk or a tunnel piercing; Dead Spex are pop-punk for the masses.

Following them were Notts favourites Hot Japanese Girl, who have the somewhat distinct advantage that the majority of the band are stark raving lunatics. Their punkish, metal-laced tunes begged to be danced to, and they were the only band of the night to garner a mosh pit. The anarchic and faintly surreal mood grew throughout their set, with its climax seeing singer Ali Powers nicking half the drumkit for himself, spending most of the final song on the floor before pegging it off the stage with the lead guitarist. A truly unpredictable set, and hugely entertaining.

Last up were the night’s headline act, the raptuous indie-gypsy-swing-yelp-pop mashup that is Captain Dangerous. Fresh from a fantastic gig at Rock City last week, they were clearly riding the wave of a great start to the new year. Back to their usual five-piece lineup (they were joined by a newly acquired string quartet last week), they launched into a set of gloriously unique jaunty pop laced with gypsy-folk tones, and underpinned throughout by fantastic song writing. With a full-time violin player, a guitarist who seems to play any instrument you could chuck at him and heartfelt lyrics delivered with fervour and huge energy, their cheeky veneer conceals a very skilled and thoughtful group of lads. They were fantastically passionate, engaging and clearly loved being on stage – this is a band that lives for playing live, and rightly so. They were a hugely fun end to a cracking evening of local music.

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