Monday, 10 May 2010

RBRBR, Tokyo Knife Attack and Miaoux Miaoux at Captain's Rest

Heavylight Darkbright at Captain's Rest, Glasgow

Featuring - RBRBR, Tokyo Knife Attack and Miaoux Miaoux 

On Saturday night I ventured to Captain's Rest on Great Western Road for the Heavylight Darkbright night. On the bill for a fiver were RBRBR, Tokyo Knife Attack and Miaoux Miaoux.

After being best man at my mate Elliott's wedding on the Friday I opted to drive to the gig, allowing Lynn to have a few pints. It is maybe a sign of age, but I don't mind driving to gigs so much these days. I'm quite happy to get lost in the music.

Heavylight Darkbright is a regular night run by the same guys that put on the excellent Pinup Nights at the Flying Duck. HLDB is a little more low key, left of centre, allowing them to pick the best local acts and also stick on upcoming bands and artists from around the UK. Mercury Prize nominated The Invisible are among the recent guests.

Captain's Rest has established itself as an excellent addition to the live music circuit in Glasgow over the last few years. The upstairs bar provides good music, food, beer and big screens for sport, while downstairs in the basement, the soundsystem and engineers work wonders in such a small space.

First on was Miaoux Miaoux who I had the pleasure of watching for the first time in mid-March. As he began his first tune there was only a handful of people in the room, but the waves of electronica sent people scurrying down the steps, so that there was soon a crowd of 30-40. Miaoux Miaoux (AKA Julian Corrie) transfixed the crowds with his ability to layer melodies, beats and harmonies with his guitar, sampler, synth and some other electro toy.

Halfway through he introduced a new song that he had finished writing the lyrics for that very afternoon and he had to read a couple of the verses off of a sheet of paper. The song was one of many highlights, its beat, feeling and melody seemed more suited to watching the sunset in Ibiza than a basement in Glasgow. All three tracks off the 'Blooms' EP went down well. The shift in music in 'Pixellated' enhanced by Julian's backing vocals was a real standout alongside 'Snow'. I would recommend checking Miaoux Miaoux out.

Next up was another one man band/act going by the name of Tokyo Knife Attack. He surrounded himself with a bank of electrical equipment and proceeded to play a 30-minute set of 80's influenced electro pop. The music was actually pretty good, although I would say that Tokyo Knife Attack is more Chris Lowe than Neil Tenant. He seemed very shy, barely speaking to the crowd, although his confidence did lift the longer the gig went on. He obviously has an ear for a tune, my personal suggestion would be to get a voclaist(s) in to help lift the songs.

Headlining tonight were RBRBR. I have seen them a couple of times before and I had previously been more impressed with one of their dancers who wore a jumpsuit and fighter pilot helmet and shades. He was back tonight, complete with a drummer in a horses head and their dancing ninja, as well as the two frontmen. For me, their two best songs were book ends for the set. 'Maff' - with a repetive hook of 'do the math, do the math, do the math' and 'Masicks Blues' at the end which threatened to veer off into a euphoric electro/techno track at times but didn't quite get there.

The two dancers generated a lot of energy on the stage, but it didn't quite transform to the crowd and for me it didn't hide the fact that a lot of their songs sound incredibly similar. The guy in the jumpsuit looked cool and danced his heart out, but he didn't really do anything else. He had an Apple Mac in front of him, but I don't know what purpose that served. The ninja certainly lost the dancing contest and is definitely no Bez. 

The two frontmen were pretty charming, smiling throughout and obviously enjoying the set. Some more inventive basslines, further use of guitar and synths might transform the band. Despite my criticism I bought their EP at the end of the night, keen to hear what they sound like on record. If I'm honest, they sound better live.

So it was a rather mixed bag of a night but well worth it. 

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