Sunday, 22 February 2009

Concert Review: Women @ Madame JoJo's

Last Tuesday evening, (which now seems like a decade ago) I met up with fellow music blogger Anika to see Women play at Madame JoJo's. Nestled in between a seedy cocktail of Soho's sex shops and strip bars, JoJo's is a sort of tranny/meat market nightclub most nights of the week but on Tuesday evenings it's more of an indie club. So when I say we were "watching Women play there", this meant four men in t-shirts and jeans supporting guitars with not so much as a fake eyelash or a fake pink feather boa in sight.

Anika and I secured a spot right in front of the small but very high up stage - I guess it could be true to say some of the normal clientele might use the height of the stage to try to "check out" the performers/dancers but for us it brought about entirely different challenges like how were we going to get good photos of the band from such an angle? etc. music blogging geeky issues! Anika (who incidentally is a super photographer check out her Flickr) thought the steep angle actually worked out to our advantage although I have to say it didn't make much difference to my photos which just turned out as fuzzy as usual.

Desmond and the tutus

On to the show. Desmond and the tutus (great name) were first up. Hailing from South Africa they played an energetic set of dance punk accompanied by strutting vocals and an occasional unmistakable African sounding groove. They also provided the opportunity for me to take what is possibly the weirdest photo I've ever taken (see below). All good fun and I would be happy to see these guys play again. Check out their blog here.

Desmond and the tutus - my weirdest fuzzy pic yet

They were followed by The Soft Pack who didn't impress me as much as they did one guy in the audience. He appeared just before the band started, lined up loads of bottles of beer on the stage (you can see them in the photo below) and from the first note proceeded to swig the beer and to bounce/head bang about all over the shop. Not so unusual at a gig? Sure, but everyone else was pretty much standing still which meant the overly excited guy became more of a focus of attention for the audience more than the band themselves.

The Soft Pack - note all the beers the excited fan had lined up

Onto the headliners, four guys from Canada called Women. I saw them play an instore at Pure Groove last November and had come away with mixed emotions. Yes they had some great songs packed full of intensely enjoyable music but it's the bits in between that didn't leave much of a lasting impression on me. Maybe I'm just not 'getting' their sound but some of the songs felt directionless and Tuesday nights performance was on times not that dissimilar. I don't want to knock these guys because the songs that rock, REALLY rock but I just wish those moments lasted longer. I can't think of anyone who is making music like them, it's original stuff, the delivery is complex and tight and on the whole makes me pretty excited.

Overall it was a good evening.

Women have just recorded a session for BBC Radio 6, you can hear it here.


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