There is nothing like the festival season to show the masochistic side of some musicians. Sandwiched between the two “At the Edge of the…” Festivals, this gig represented the midway point between Brighton and Holmfirth and, rather than spending the night with their feet up or in the pub, three of the featured bands decided to join Leicester’s Produkty at Lock
42. The bands on show were a cosmopolitan bunch, with members from Japan, Finland, South Africa, Scotland and of course the UK. Would Leicester be ready for the Pinky Piglets?
Dirty Fingernails kicked the evening off with their blend of indie/emo guitar-driven pop. Having seen the band a few times its always a surprise how different they sound live in comparison to the recorded stuff.
They started with a cover of The Wedding Presents “Drive”, a salute to their involvement with David Gedge’s festivals. It wasn’t out of place in their set although much more straightforward than their own “Chop Suey” or “European Scream”. They have a striking image particularly keyboard player Paivi who is like a cross between Marlene Dietrich and Siouxsie Sioux.
Pinky Piglets were next. Its dangerous to pigeon hole bands and prior to arrival on these shores the Piglets had been written off as yet another Japanese girly-pop band. True there are the cutesy elements that come across visually and some of their songs are quite poppy but they are at their best when genre-defying along a spectrum from Abba to Slipknot.
Playing a different set to their festival appearances they managed to combine the crowd pleasing aspects of their show with some heavier and more moody tunes. Japanese Girl and No Brain Party still stood out. Anybody who sees this band ends up with a wide grin and slightly deaf. Its difficult to explain their attraction but they may well be one of the best bands you’ll get to see!
This was a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by Andy from Leicester’s Produkty, who announced that he was a bit concerned about following on from the Fingernails and Piglets particularly as he was flu-laden and had “forgotten his tixylix”.
He needn’t have worried; firstly because Produkty are an accomplished outfit and secondly like all the other bands on show they were very distinctive both in terms of style and sound. Its hard to pin down their influences but songs like Sugar Mice and Bubbles of Love are like indie versions of someone like Mansun but with a stripped down Glasvegas style rhythm section. They have a strong following in Leicester quite a few of whom turned out on the night but they are dying to break out of the city so any West Midlands promoters reading, they could be the band for you.
Like Dirty Fingernails, Silvermash bring much more to their music live than is suggested by their recorded output, Myspace etc.
The live atmosphere that they create puts the songs into context and lifts them out of the shoe-gazey pigeon hole that a lot of bands find themselves in. Maybe they do have the regulation effects-laden guitars and post rock approach but the outstanding songs like Headfucker, Forever in my Heart and their own tribute to “the best footballer in the world”, (Tony) Rougier are a lot stronger than that would suggest. They also included their The Wedding Present cover Crushed but rather than copying the original it was very much subject to their own spin and of all the Wedding Present songs they could have covered this was one of the more surprising.
What started out as a bit of a disorganised evening, ended up with everyone leaping around to Silvermash having seen four excellent bands in a venue that I’m sure will get stronger as it becomes more established, and if people can find it. It proved to be a good taster for the Edge of the Peaks festival the following day. Over the weekend Graeme Ramsay from Silvermash and Charlie Layton from Dirty Fingernails would have played in three bands each, including Cinerama and The Wedding Present, and over seven sets of which more later on, on this site. There’s that masochistic streak again.
Photos — Stephanie Colledge
Review – Ian Gelling