Tonight’s Wingwalker presentation is an emotionally fractured and frankly confusing little experience.
Beginning with opening act Rhubarb – i.e. the ultimate thrashing in brain sabotaging, terrifying death-electro – the gig erupts in a delightfully disturbing manner which sees all three members donning grotesque, ridiculous masks and performing some surprisingly gratifying big tunes, considering no one’s taking the whole thing too serious.
There’s a slight lull in the middle where more screaming and icky samples should have been playfully inserted, but it’s tastefully compensated for by some audacious on stage arse shaking and insect banqueting. Which Purple Revolver is always a fan of.
The contingency for the harrowing continues with a.P.A.t.T who provide a spectrum of emotions through the medium of cleverer than thou musical amplitude. For the most part it’s faux-bright and breezy, artificial saccharine, but soon descends into the fantastically distressed.
A man with a sack on his head? Check. Tied up with rope? Yep. Getting the occasional kicking from band members? Uhuh. The music plummets into a snuff movie soundtrack drone for a solid 10 minutes. The frequency of which is enough to push a person into puking – which isn’t so nice after dinner, really, but great for those of us concerned about getting the perfect killer Summer figure.
Audio induced bulimia. It’s the next big thing.
So it’s comforting to have Dan Sartain finally take to the stage, if a little bizarre following the discomfort of the previous acts. Singing twee rockabilly diatribes against lost loves, bad loves, and being unloved alongside adorable tunes concerning having crushes on cute girls, you can’t help but kinda want to get on stage and just lick his lovely Steve Buscemi-esque face.
The sound quality in the joint tonight is a little too weak though, and so Sartain’s frankly delectable husky vocals are drowned out by his fellow band members and lost to tinniness.
The set too is a little underwhelming, especially considering the wealth of amazing tunes Sartain could play from his actually quite minimal but amazing back catalogue, and offers little variation one tune to the next.
And then we finish with Chrome Hoof – the stage is flooded with bodies all donning the same space-age tin foil get ups as their collective persona is renowned for, with an incredibly alluring front woman who looks almost too beautiful and cool to be wasting her time with something so silly.
There are moments of total genius when you can’t help but be totally moved into an impromptu dance act by a blasting melody, solo, or unfeasibly wicked drum beat, but there’s such lulls between these moments that it all comes off awfully unbalanced, and is also often totally unremarkable.
Still, they’ve got the right energy, you’d just expect a lot more from a band with a gazillion glimmering members to it’s name.
*Photography by Matt Thomas: http://mattthomas.co.uk/