photo by underexposed.org.uk
The Grates – ‘Trampoline’
I think my attendance at The Grates’ London gigs might just about be approaching double figures… they seem to have been practically living in the UK over the last few months. Either that or just non-stop touring everywhere, which I expect is the more likely scenario. Apparently, these guys are really popular in Australia, but I’m not convinced they’ve yet made a serious impact on the UK scene. The notorious NME dismissed their album with a disappointing 4/10 and despite the seemingly ubiquitous presence in terms of gigs, other than the occasional interview, I really haven’t seen a great deal of coverage about them. Being on a major label (sharing a roster with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, no less), I can’t help but feel a little anxious about their future here if they don’t start generating more of that all important “buzz”.
The band headlined Kings College last week, and there were plenty of people there, but it was by no means full and who knows how much of the crowd was made up of ex-pats rather than hip young Londoners. But it was another great performance, with Patience strutting her stuff in a magnificent white tutu and breaking out into random dog yelps here and there. Crazy as ever then. Apparently they’d had a load of stuff stolen the night before, but you would never have guessed it. How refreshing to watch a band perform and actually seem to be enjoying it. Certainly a welcome antidote to playing it “cool” and looking miserable. Maybe the UK just needs a little longer to digest such undiluted fun.
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Witch Hats – ‘Jock The Untold’
About ten years ago, I reckon I would have absolutely hated this band. But I guess that just goes to show how much your taste in music can change… Recently signing with In-Fidelity, Melbourne band Witch Hats have finally found a label to unleash their blood-curdling and at times, really quite scary, music on the world. Or at least Australia for the time being anyway. With evident Birthday Party and Pixies influences, the band have an EP coming out soon, including great tracks such as Jock The Untold and Pepperman. I can’t imagine Kris Buscombe’s vocals appealing to everyone, but even so, there’s so much else going on with the rest of the band to keep you more than satisfied. And apparently their live shows are a spectacular riot worth witnessing.
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Love of Diagrams
Love of Diagrams have been playing together since early 2001, building a steady fanbase along the way. Their angular, post-punk sound with call and response vocals, intricate guitar work and incessant percussion all comes together to form one very tight band, both live and on record.
In Australia the trio released the album The Target Is You and also an EP through credible indie label Unstable Ape, and have supported an impressive selection of international acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Rogers Sisters, Electrelane, and most recently, the much revered Sonic Youth.
November 2005 saw the release of their debut UK 7″ single ‘No Way Out’ and the band received airplay from British radio heavyweight, Steve Lamacq as well as XFM’s John Kennedy. The band also achieved what has to be one of the biggest accolades in indie music these days – having their song featured on an episode of music savvy teen drama, The OC. Rumours: the trio are in talks with a big indie label for a worldwide deal, so stay tuned.
Love Of Diagrams – ‘No Way Out’
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