Made the pilgrimage to one of South London’s key music venues last night. Always a good relaxed atmosphere the crowd is primarily made up of the bands themselves and there nearest and dearest. It turned out that I was only one of four people who actually bought a ticket in advance. That’s just my upbringing and FOMO kicking in I guess.
I went primarily to see the Pit Ponies, who hail from Upminster. They played there more well-known tracks from their first album which was fine by me as last time I saw them they were playing with some new tracks which I hadn’t really heard before. The vocalist has a recognisable distinctive vocal style, which is reminiscent of early Bowie ( circa London boys) or possibly or Anthony Newley. They write strong songs addressing the trials and tribulations of life with some endearing twists in such songs as “Mountains” or “Furies” which demonstrates a good level of maturity and have a certain anthemic quality.
Support for the evening was quite eclectic, although the Windmill’s house policy is to try and curate like minded bands.
Honkies ,who I think are local, are in the mould of Fat White Family or Goat Girl strongly favouring a country vibe , re invented for urban living. Strong bass lines drove all the songs and although first on had the largest crowd. Are they the next big thing? There association with two of the bigger bands in this musical niche is partly due I think to common management or at least the ability to leverage the ongoing band promotion. They had an enthusiastic following and their music is infectious and I think has the ability to be a grower. More research needed.
Second band on stage were No Friendz, a band led by Angus Knight ,who also plays in Meatraffle. No Friendz provide an outlet for Angus’s alta ego , with an opportunity to raid the dressing up box of the early 70’s they have style and attitude, in the spirit of New York Dolls or Iggy. I think its a healthy aspect of the current music scene that musicians are prepared to experiment ,work with other bands Songs such as “No Friendz” and “I saw Shonen knife” pay a certain level of homage to Iggy Pop’s “No fun” and Ramones buzz sawing guitar in “you’re gonna kill that girl” respectively.
I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong in this and a certain level of reference to your influences can be considered as the sincerest form of flattery. They have swagger and presence and it will be interesting to see how this project develops over the next few months.
Last band before the headliners were Chupa Cabra from Wales. They are a three-piece with a rock solid drummer who perfectly complements their catchy pop driven sound. Visually you could mistake the front men as a young Jam, in hair style and dress. Still youthful they played a tight set and got the audience moving and warmed up for Pit Ponies.
As usual band changeovers and the sound quality was slick and well balanced, certainly from an audience perspective. Good night out and I would certainly see any of the bands on offer again.