Gong Gong Gong

Probably the first foreign (not that it matters really) music act I have reviewed, this duo of but bass and guitar invoke deliberate repetition in their playing style; unusual I suppose. The vocals, adequate in their delivery as the set progresses, are sung in Cantonese lyrics; while I am fond of lyrical decipherment and pretentiously attempting to determine their meaning from a critical standpoint, sadly I am not multilingual, so no cigar.

As they strum through their set, I quite enjoy the way it subtly builds up some vague kind of intensity, almost like the soundtrack to a particular scene of resolution (crucial bit of evidence found etc) in some naff police procedural drama that we would all rather forget than remember. The bass playing, in its more abrasive sections (string bending abuse, that slide thingy etc) really captures something interesting, as the guitar tends to refrain from anything too wild (feedback showcases and the particular chord that sounds like a clown’s shoe stepping on a balloon were cool however). Overall, I feel the lack of a beat, not necessarily provided by a pounding of the drum kit or overworking a drum machine, but something as simple as a tambourine (Gravity employment?) could have added much needed dimension to their set; I liked it but something was missing.


Ah the physical manifestation of one of Nottingham’s most respected music venues… oh wait. This 5-piece features simplistic, but resolute basslines, a kind-of-minimalist (the kit was quite small/ even smaller one was employed by one of the vocalists/quasi xylophone?) yet highly energetic and aggressive approach to drumming, alternating boy-girl vocals that at times harmonise but also allow for individual vocal showcases, lead guitar playing (I couldn’t really tell what the rhythm guitar was doing) that knows how to wail and do all the emotional stuff most guitarists strive for.

The humorous usage of an automated voice on the introduction of several songs (Heaven knows I’m miserable now?) was a source of minor amusement (could it have been geared towards folks like the middle aged sot that failed to accost me?), yet it starts to grate on my person as its frequent appearances (and for anyone with more than half the wit of turnip) wear thin. Numbers such as ‘Jack In Titanic’ showcase this kind of anthemic sound that really underscores the freakish enthusiasm they put into their live shows, almost as though they are some kind of parade band malevolently directing you towards a region of volcanic activity.

Though of course that doesn’t render a pass on their setlist pacing: for example, their closer (before their ill-advised encore) delves into an extended instrumental passage (uh oh, prog?) that really feels more like filler than anything meaningful in regards to a strong climax. As for the encore, throwaway tracks (ATMs? Charlie? Fuzz-laden B-side?) that really should have been cast off and/or replaced with one of their stronger pieces sadly give (to me at least) their closing chapter a lulling sensation (instead of direct current buzz?).

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.