BK & Dad single launch, at the Stew Gallery, with Dr Clyde. Plus Mari Joyce at Norwich Arts Centre, 21 September 2013, review.
The occasion of a single launch and a live performance by the truly astonishing BK & Dad is something so special and rare that it is just too good an opportunity to miss. Added to this was the fact it was taking place in an art gallery and also featured the superb Dr Clyde, it was irresistable.
Balaclava Kid and Dad totally blew me away when I saw them earlier in the year, I don’t recall much about the performance of headliners Dingus Khan that night, probably because I was still making sense of the mind-blowing set from BK & Dad earlier. One of my favourite sets of the year, from an act who are way up there amongst my favourite artists.
I’ve seen them several times this year and they never fail to make a massive impression on me, reliving their performance in my head for days afterwards. Tonight, being a band that does different, they were holding a launch night for their new single in Norwich’s Stew Gallery. Not often used as a live music venue, although The Neutrinos did have a show here earlier this year. They were also selling self-printed t-shirts, with a download code sewn into the label. I like details such as this! Mine is ordered and I keenly await its arrival.
Support for tonight was from the also wonderful Dr Clyde, truly another favourite act of mine. I find myself saying this so often but it is true, such is the wealth of local talent at the moment. I would always try and make the effort to see either of these bands, to have them on the same bill is an even greater bonus.
It was somewhat ironic that Jasper’s previous band, Cakes and Ale, were also performing in the city on the same night, at the Arts Centre. I saw and enjoyed them at the Birdcage earlier this year and although good I did miss what Jasper brought to the band, as anybody would, such is his talent and incredible presence. But this is Dr Clyde’s gain, with just a three-track EP available so far I find myself keenly looking forward to some more recorded works, especially the likes of the catchy I.O.U. In the past two or three months I have seen this band perhaps five or six times, and no two sets are ever the same. Songs are re-arranged, sometimes completely re-worked, or played acoustically. At Harlequin they played two remarkable sets, one a late night acoustic, gentle set on the Nomad stage, and the following day an early evening slot on the main stage that was typically energetic, bonkers and wonderful, that had the entire audience in the tent converted and dancing enthusiastically. There is a looseness (or appears to be at least) to their playing that is just irresistible to me. There is no other band I can think of that is remotely like them, although perhaps an irrepressibly happy Mark E Smith led Fall might come close, but that’s too preposterous a concept to imagine or dwell upon. Wildly and loosely bluesy, the way they play is an absolute joy to be a part of and witness.
The wonderfully enthusiastic Mister Ginge was of course in the audience too. Alex, who videos many of their performances asked them to share the set list so he could record any songs not yet video’d only to be told that they weren’t using a set list and would select the songs as they went along. Excellent! A blistering set followed that sounded excellent in this venue. I also love the joy they play with, Jasper, Joe, and Connor always seem to be having a great time, and without trying this band also seem to be developing a lovely image, almost cartoon-like such are their great personalities, the way the move and the delight they have in everything they do. I do love this band!
I love BK & Dad too. Tonight there were absolutely amazing. Speaking with a couple of friends beforehand (one being Alex) I told them they were in for something very special, I think they agreed with me! It’s easy to state how loud they are, they are indeed very loud but there is much, much more to them than that, the playing is incredible, as is the energy and power coming through the speakers, they are a band that truly excite me and always leave me wanting more, however long they play for. I don’t think I’ve ever seen drums played quite like this, and with Leo standing tall and using his guitar and loop pedals to great effect, it can astonish people hearing them to realise that with all this power and depth there is not in fact a bass player onstage. It’s a thunderous, sonic maelstrom, a full-on assault on the senses but there’s so much going on behind the noise, and it is well worth getting in and exploring it.
Brilliant, brilliant gig, I was on quite a high from the energy of this set. Coupled with the always amazing projections that accompany their performances it is quite an assault on the senses, but a really delicious one. I can’t wait for the next gig but I shall be reliving this one in my head for quite a while.
Here are the single details from the band’s event page for the launch:
You can own MUNDY by buying one of 50 STRICTLY LIMITED screen printed tees that each come with a personal digital download code SEWN INTO THE LABEL.
ORDER NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE:
The single will also be available on all major download sites. But it’s better for the band and your favourite 100% independent label to hit us up on bandcamp bitches:
Earlier in the evening I did actually spend an hour or so at the Arts Centre, and was delighted to catch the set by the Mari Joyce band. Arriving early to meet up with Jerry Tye who was videoing today, I walked into the auditorium during soundcheck with my bicycle light still on and attached to my camera bag, and so the first thing I heard was Mari saying into the mic “Richard, you are flashing!!” I’m glad she told me, how embarrassing a look that would have been for an evening, obliviously walking around with a red-flashing light on my bag. This almost happened last week too!
To bring another Cakes and Ale link in, I do believe she was supporting them when they played at the Birdcage, and I think she is one of Norwich’s most promising talents, getting better and better each time she performs. She is blessed with a beautifully tender and expressive, gentle voice, and a very lovely and gifted band of musicians. The larger stage suited her well, and she had the audience’s full attention throughout. I look forward to seeing the video from this gig [now added].
At the end of the evening I tried to catch a third gig, at the beautiful Bedfords Crypt, but it was too late to catch them so I just had a quiet drink, enjoying the surroundings, the lovely decor of the upstairs room, and reflected on some amazing music, yet again in this incredible city of ours.
words and photos (c) all rights reserved richard shashamane 2013
(Mister Ginge’s playlist for Dr Clyde at Harlequin) http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIpN4LGrpjmbldlZdMm0KHm6aIqAQg4Rx