So I also went to that Drowned In Sound show at Whelans too, thanks to the beneficence of my lovely girlfriend, who pitched exactly right on what I would want for a birthday present. I won’t bore you with the details of my Odyssean trek to the venue, because I probably already did between bands, but just remember never to get a 38 bus anywhere ever if you still have the use of your extremities and your critical faculty.
The mess that is post-rich Ireland’s transport infrastructure meant that I missed all but the last couple of songs by Times New Viking. Close watchers will know that I also missed Times New Viking last time they played because I was at The Mae Shi and they went on early. Guess why I missed them this time? They went on early.
What sort of promoter puts on “motherfuckin’ Times New Viking” (Dean Allen Spunt, No Age) at 8 o’clock? I mean I made it to the venue at about twenty minutes past eight and I only saw the last two songs. The ticket said doors at 8. I have never been to a gig where the band starts at the time the doors were supposed to open, because logically, there would be no-one there at that time. This is apparently what happened last night. I wouldn’t know, because I wasn’t there. Fuck everything.
Anyway, next tack.
No Age were incredible, thankfully. It was my second time seeing them, but my first time indoors, and my first time with a respectful amount of album-listening done. Last time was more fun in the sense that the Dutch punks at Lowlands were moshing enough to make my wobbly headbanging seem okay. Last night my wobbly headbanging seemed to be shared by only two or three acquaintances and the members of Los Campesinos! who were in the crowd.
The show, though. Very, very loud. Intense. No Age have some really great songs. Teen Creeps, for example, has got to be one of the songs of the year.
Strum, strum, strum. Dididi-deh-do-do – NOISE. Washes and washes of noise. Two guys just being honest about it, playing a great song at a volume that cannot be ignored. There aren’t many better moments in modern life than the heavy bit kicking in. And that’s what No Age are all about.
They had some new stuff (I think) which was more directly rocking and less obfuscated. I enjoyed this. I would like to see No Age at a house-party (maybe the Hideaway House as Adam said in a comment below) or somewhere less self-conscious and less full of LC! fans. Because they’ve got energy in spades and it’s a pity not many were sharing in the loud, loud glory of it.
As for Los Campesinos, I didn’t like them. I’ve never liked them anyway, but they were never going to beat No Age. It’s their own fault for picking such good support acts. Their lyrics are so blatantly poserish that I’m surprised anyone except teenage girls can stomach it. “I was listening to music and reading fiction at the same time” or whatever. I mean, what the fuck is that? They play like a major label band on Letterman or something. There’s no heart to it. They’re just trying to be clever, and their songs aren’t particularly good. They’re the opposite of No Age’s honesty, in my eyes. If they didn’t have vaguely different instrumentation I don’t think anyone would ever have thought of them as separate from the NME continuum in the first place. Because they’re not. Death to Los Campesinos.
Long live No Age.
Times New Viking I am sorry please don’t split up before I see you.