Now, what Peppermintpatti do is great. Really. Plugging female-fronted
bands (who - whether you admit it or not -- are still grossly underrepresented
on Planet Proper Rock) and providing a safe space for any gender or
sexuality you care to name is all very worthwhile, and very necessary.
And the acts they put on are top-class, most of the time.
Manchester's Vile Vile Creatures are a far more
exciting proposition. These two geek-grrrls and one bald bloke deal
in nerve-shredding, hip-shaking agit-punk. They grin a lot. They shout
through a megaphone. The singer dances like she's having a seizure.
They even manage to roll out that Emma Goldman quote - yeah, you know,
the one about the dancing and the revolution -- without making it sound
like a tired shortcut to radical cool. In short, they rule.
Big Joan are deceptively unassuming. In fact, at first I'm wondering what they're doing here, because they look like a nice, normal, clean-cut bunch of young people. You sort of want to go up and ask them whether their mums know they're out in a joint like this. Until they start playing, that is. www.bigjoan.com
I really want to say Queen Adreena, but that's probably
just because they're fronted by a mad blonde chick; the vastly-underrated
Pornorphans might be a better comparison. Singer Annette croons gently
and hollers like she's in pain and bashes the hell out of a metal dustbin
she's using as a makeshift drum, and then starts singing through a microphone
that's made out of a telephone receiver. And when the rest of the band
aren't busy generating crushing walls of sound, they carve out dirty,
menacing grooves as good as anything on "Taxidermy" or "Mechanical
Animals". It's nervy. It's claustrophobic. It is, to borrow a phrase,
the sound of someone losing the plot. But, you know, in a good way.
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