POP: Eccentricity rules, OK?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
London is the last date in the Dawn of The Replicants' tour with Ultrasound (see feature, right), during which time both bands have brought the flush of scuzzy eccentricity back to the cheeks of live rock all over the country. They have been together since early February; enough time for Dawn of the Replicants' vocalist Paul Vickers to fathom out exactly why the chemistry between the bands works so well, and has led to a string of sell-out dates. "Both bands seem to freak the audience out a bit," he muses, struggling with a hangover the night after a Dundee show. "We are similar in some ways, like the fact that the songwriting is sort of studied, has quite challenging song structures. But the bands have a different feel to them. Ultrasound are quite an interesting rollercoaster. Our music is quite intense, but we try to make the performance lighter. The songs are quite serious but at the same time we like gimmicks - breaking through to the audience with a bit of humour and cabaret."

Dawn of The Replicants' music sometimes puts one in mind of a certain yogurt advert featuring Joanna Lumley - "For every side to you there is a corner." For every murky pop tale DOTR tell (and there are loads thanks to a string of recent EPs), there's a new personality, a hitherto unrevealed dimension. Not that Paul quite sees it like that. To judge by the title of their new debut album, One Head, Two Arms, Two Legs, they see themselves as pretty conventional.

"The music papers seem to think we're bonkers, but that's not the case. We don't struggle to write songs - we've pretty much written the second album and more EPs. The best songs come in about five to 10 minutes, but it's difficult to know where it comes from, or analyse it too much. It's not that no thought goes into it, but the initial idea comes quickly. "Candlefire" (the current single) is about a woman who wants the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armour. She's a social outcast, and tries witchcraft to create this hideous creature, this monster, which she thinks she wants." So much for not being bonkers then.

And no doubt more mayhem will ensue with the next single, "Hogwash Farm", the making of which at a Wild West theme town in Belgium recently, gets Paul all wistful. "I would like to have two or three more days in Belgium, lost in a world of cowboys and cowgirls, where you don't speak the same language as anyone else, where the people are slightly deranged. I've been coming down from it ever since."

Dawn of The Replicants and Ultrasound, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1 (0171-242 8032), 2 Mar

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