Friday, June 18, 2010

Come for the review, stay for the raffle

Gaggle, Viv Albertine, Fiction.
Bush Hall. 17jun10.

Following Fiction’s lively set where post-punk met 80’s sheen-pop head on, former Slit Viv Albertine ascended the stage got up in a dress that had the elegant sweep of something pulled from Pan’s People’s mothballed wardrobe. Stood alongside Viv as she played guitar, sang and waxed cheerily scornful, were a cellist and a player that moved between Theremin and cool sharp harp. A promising arsenal but one which proceeded to condense an apparent mid-life crisis into thirty minutes that was too often trite (see Couples Are Creepy, particularly) and too infrequently adventurous.

No such problems with Gaggle, who alighted upon the stage via a procession through the audience whilst bearing flags and a large standard that read “This is merely a distraction from the inevitable.” All in all it appeared to be some kind of anti- shuffling-on-from-behind-the-drum-set protest march.

Wearing face paint and outlandish colours, Gaggle are a colossal 40-legged voicebox aided an abetted by a live drummer, a laptop firing off low rumbles and euphoric blasts, and a choirmaster issuing important instructions like “sing louder!!”

What do they sound like? Well, the following options will be placed in the sweepstake beany for you to select from…

*A cyberpunk Gospel choir.

*A multi-tracked Lady Gaga having a live mash-up with Trash Kit and The Slits.

*An Afrobeat bonfire-side ceremonial.

*David Byrne putting on a for-the-community-by-the-community concert for women living in a Welsh mining village in the 60’s.

*A shamanistic Bananarama.

*Dull-arse bint-collective.

If you pick out the latter: llllll-loser. Any of the others, well, you are in possession of a winning ticket.

There will, of course be Polyphonic Spree comparisons but where Tim DeLaughter’s mob were more Branch-Davidian-cultish in spirit, Gaggle are much more vibrantly tribal.



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