When Will I Be Famous?

The Independent's guide to tomorrow's bands
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

J Lesser is an occasional member of the genuinely out-there San Franciscan sonic terrorists Matmos (their song "Californian Rhinoplasty" samples just that). So it's a surprise that he should be such an amiable-looking cove, moustache neatly waxed at the tips, and generally resembling a contented child psychologist. But fear not - this set consisted entirely of horrible noise, only occasionally offering anything as outré as a beat and not once resorting to melody. He could have been playing tracks such as "Matador Records Tax Deduction" or the excellently titled "Intuit Like an Inuit" from his current and frequently diverting album - it was impossible to tell. Also, the "show" consisted entirely of Lesser manipulating sounds on a laptop, about as exciting as watching a novelist at work. One punter filmed the entire event.

J Lesser is an occasional member of the genuinely out-there San Franciscan sonic terrorists Matmos (their song "Californian Rhinoplasty" samples just that). So it's a surprise that he should be such an amiable-looking cove, moustache neatly waxed at the tips, and generally resembling a contented child psychologist. But fear not - this set consisted entirely of horrible noise, only occasionally offering anything as outré as a beat and not once resorting to melody. He could have been playing tracks such as "Matador Records Tax Deduction" or the excellently titled "Intuit Like an Inuit" from his current and frequently diverting album - it was impossible to tell. Also, the "show" consisted entirely of Lesser manipulating sounds on a laptop, about as exciting as watching a novelist at work. One punter filmed the entire event.

Cheapglue consist of the guitarist Jonny Male, formerly of Republica, and a couple of old mates from the M4 corridor scene on drums and keyboards. That is at least two too few to produce an adequate sound, and although their heavy-handed pop purism is obviously written for others to perform, it must be noted that this show was so atrocious, it seemed inconceivable that they could have ever made a living as professional musicians. Cheapglue write songs with titles such as "Failed with Flying Colours" and "Absolutely No Point in Anything Any More" anyway, and though their (understandable) self-deprecation is amusing, this set should not have left the rehearsal room. The current single, "Herr Madonna", typifies the problem, the homonym in the title rendering it meaningless, and the weedy arrangement turning a potentially respectable ELO homage into the Electric Light Quartet.

Zoot Woman fearlessly pose the question: "Can we have too much irony?", as they line up, clad in matching Mod suits and shirts, playing, oh yes, the music of the Eighties, lovingly recreated and as revolting as ever. Yet set aside your jaundiced memories of Jonathan King's Entertainment USA, which perpetually showed videos of American nonsense, and you can enjoy the Blake brothers' idiocy for what it is, a British hobby as impressively pointless as growing giant vegetables. After all, they include Stuart Price (aka Jacques LuCont of Les Rythmes Digitales - he's from Reading) on bass, their logo is copped from Judas Priest, and their style is copped from greats such as Hall and Oates and, yes, Wang Chung. The current single, "You and I", is better than anything the similarly minded French combo Phoenix have managed, and combining The Police's "Spirits in the Material World" with Kraftwerk's "The Model" is a master stroke. You have to laugh, though it's hard to see them ever being much more than a wedding-reception band for the Cold Feet generation.

Comments