Kings and Clownsby Gary Udemans / 02.09.2010
What has a hundred legs and one pube? The queue outside Jesters in PE. Nah, it’s usually not that bad. More like a handful of birds and a family feast sized braaipack of wors. For a place that usually caters for white painted faces, black nails and emo fringes, the other night’s menu served up a jovial mix of genres with the usual copious beer drinking quota. This was my first time covering a gig. So to be honest I was a bit shaky at the kick off, but, as I remembered the words of my employer, Roger Young, prior to the gig: “enjoy yourself, be fair and have a blunt.” Or be blunt. Something to that effect.
First up we were treated to some variety in the form of Shoelace. They might have seemed a bit out of place being the only black ous in the club, but they were musically accomplished and very good to the ears. It’s a real delight when you have 3 voices, singing in key, backed up with a wall of rock and soul rhythms. Sometimes all you need is something a little unusual to have a set of winner tunes. Imagine beautiful scathamiya vocal melodies set amongst a rocking and eclectic sound that I still can’t seem to place. Shoelace just might be PE’s answer to the BLK JKS!
Next up was a band ironically named No Idea. This made for a good time to drain my lizard and retox the alcohol stream at the not so posh, but not so kak, nuclear sub. They opened proceedings with Blur’s legendary head banger’s anthem, “Song 2”, with the untimed of a Bukkake scene. The rest of the grungy set followed suit, really, not forgetting the matching band branded T-shirts. Now that was a fantastic idea. Because for fucksakes, I wish I had my name written across my chest to ease the finding of it later. Not that I thought their music caused the forthcoming downing of tequilas, but it was pretty dirty, yet pretty nifty. And I knew we’d be getting into that rotten stuff soon. And just because they were kids didn’t mean we had to play nice.
With a band name like Northærn Lights you’d be setting yourself up for a light-hearted act, but they have however always been hard, and probably the best band on the night. Being very recent winners of a local Battle of the Bands competition, which was run at Jesters, the band was on a high. Showcasing two awesome songs that opened and closed the set respectively, the hair shaker “Haiti” and the toe tapper and crowd favourite, ‘”Worlds Apart” that we all left singing to, “tu too tu toooo tu two too two TOO! “
By this part of the night I was so wasted I might have been on stage playing air guitar clutching my can of Black Label jamming alongside the headliners, Captain Stu and dreaming of KFC. Last clear thought I had was getting these lads a decent pair of shoes. Good ska always has a knack of getting you onto the dance floor but I always find it tough to make any sense of the stuff, especially being played after the kif show Northærn Lights put on. You didn’t quite twist my nipples Captain, but your stuff was cool, funky and fresh. Fun was had and heard. It was a pity about the shortage of audience, which could have added so much more gees and, uh, pubes.
*All images © Gary Udemans