Saturday, 14 January 2012

Corpsekisser, Maria & The Mirrors, No Womb @ Kraak, Friday 6th January 2012

No Womb at the Kraak Inn

Memories of Christmas are receding fast but some people still appear to be playing with their toys. No Womb is using a set of drums and a bass guitar on max settings to see what they can come up with. Ironically, it is an errant microphone stand that seems to be the most difficult to control as it moves in the opposite direction to where the vocalist has her mouth. The songs seem almost to be about themselves; “I wanna f*** you all day,” (I think) or “She doesn’t care about me,” all delivered in a loud and shouty manner, with the emphasis seemingly on the fun side of DIY music spectrum.

It’s not quite clear exactly when Maria and the Mirrors start their set as they seem to be trying to test their equipment out, but are suffering technical problems. Even in the dimly lit room at Kraak, the trio catch the eye. Crystabel and Keira are seemingly vacuum packed into brightly coloured leather pants, whilst at the rear of the stage on laptop and miscellaneous equipment Charlie has kitted himself out in a lace, see-through one-piece, that’s rounded off with a bicycle chain wrapped around his neck.

One of the percussionists is hitting her pads as hard as she can, with a desperate look of bemusement. No output is coming from them, but the other two are so focused on what they are doing they don’t realise their colleague is in distress. For the listener the fact that only two thirds of the music is being relayed should be an easy point to pick up on, but the intensity and ferocity emerging from the speakers masks this. There’s a look of panic on said percussionist’s face as she screams across to her colleague that, “Nothing’s coming out!”

However, a few tweaks of leads later and the situation is remedied. The resulting bursts of unleashed noise burn the synapses, disrupting the thought process of those in front of the speakers. Tribal rhythms pound the walls of the confined space in a relentless and unforgiving manner. When all 3 are in sync, echoes of early Adam and the Ants with their twin drummers eventually surface, then the pulsations intensify, flooding through the body. As a unit, they can probably do more structural damage than gale force winds.

Corpsekisser don’t as much as take to the stage as sit in front of it. The duo arrange their instruments across the floor as if trying to generate the intimacy of an impromptu music session at a house party.

To label Corpsekisser as a band is perhaps to do them an injustice in relation to the show they put on. The husband and wife combination of Heather & Ethan Swan integrate the visual (faces painted white presumable to simulate a deathly pallor) with mime (all the vocals are all pre-recorded) and dance as displayed via their jerky and angular, at times synchronised, robotic motions. Imagine Peter Crouch doing his robot dance as he celebrates scoring a goal and you’re part way to glimpsing the idea.

Their choice of equipment is quirky, including a toy piano, approximately 12 inches tall, upon which a young child may hit their hands. Their tunes usually last between 30 seconds and two minutes, comprising of sparse tinkling on said piano or a glockenspiel, all of which seems to either leave people bemused or draw appreciative applause.

The New Year has begun.

Words & photos: Ged Camera

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