Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Reeks Of Effort Present… @ Fuel Cafe, 05.01.13

“I hate you.” Well it didn’t take that long for the season of goodwill to dissipate did it?“I hate you.” Well it didn’t take that long for the season of goodwill to dissipate, did it?

Alanna McArdle uses the moniker Ides when performing and she is the one who utters the “I hate you” line during one of her songs. Armed with a voice, guitar and series of foot pedals, she cuts a vulnerable image stood alone at the mic stand, especially as she angles her body sideways on, seemingly avoiding the gaze of the listeners. Songs start gently and build up with an intensity that belies her youthful looks. Distortion kicks in towards the end as her passion increases. The impact is effective for a few songs, but she is restricted as to how much she can vary the effect without using other musical support.

Benefiting from the practice during their recent series of gigs are the Oxford based and snappily titled Beta Blocker And The Body Clock. With a contrasting musical style to Ides, the live set-up is forged around the core duo of Vincent Hollywell (vocals, guitar) and Matt Girling (drums), supplemented with another, unnamed, guitarist. The enjoyably fuzzy, lo-fi series of numbers raises the question of what sort of food the band indulged in over the festive break; was it Brussels sprouts or mushrooms of the magic style? Even without the warmth of the sun to enhance the effect, the samples and songs that flood through the small venue keep heads and torsos moving nicely.

Manchester musical arena is very incestuous, with people swapping and appearing in several bands concurrently and the Dinner Party line up typifies this. The trio are melded of Nick and Tom from Former Bullies and Edwin Stevens of Klaus Kinski, Sex Hands and Irma Vep. Such musical activity allows an indulgence in different musical grooves, this collaboration delivering a cauldron of gritty, raw, sounds. Tom stands above his drums, presumably to generate more power at full height, and it works well for the crowd who are now mixing in with the band due to the limited space. With frenetic pace engaged, the garage style thrash is enough to displace the cold air blowing through.

More distortion and metronomic rhythms follow with Base Ventura, who push out a pulsating, psychedelic arrangement. Calmly spoken, disassociated vocals float out over the hypnotic arrangements, in the manner of a voice echoing around a cathedral. I half expected the phrase “I am not a number” from cult 60s show The Prisoner to bellow out. The enjoyment factor is too much for at least one member of the audience who wraps his arms around the guitarist’s head as he plays – playfully, not maliciously – serving to illustrate their increasing popularity.

Words & Photography: Ged Camera

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