I have not been to the Windmill for a while but it’s always a great, small, intimate venue. It’s still a magnet for the cool muso’s of South London and the audience was made up of the weird and the wonderful and a fair smattering of Fat white old blokes as usual.
Being a school night I didn’t stay for the headliners and left with the place literally heaving with bodies.
First band on stage were “Sleaze”, whose lead singer is from Camberwell and they are certainly clearly part of the current South London Scene. I have not seen them before. The front man has the necessary charisma to give them a strong visual focus, with a resemblance to Eugene from “Gogol Bordello”. The band look suitably non-fashion types giving them the necessary kudos to be viewed as serious musicians.
From my research this might be about the fifth or sixth incarnation of the band due to line up changes and some of the songs have been a few years in the making. I made out a couple of songs that are also on YouTube such as “Rapunzel” and “Push Tuck” and another song which was about not being a monster which I hope was ironic.
In the live setting they have elements of “Phobophobes “about them, probably due to the synth meanderings and a slight nod to psychedelia in a “Doors” stylie. They have also been mentioned in the same sentence with “Talking Heads” but not sure I get that. They were competent and confident and as is the way at the Windmill they tend to be quite democratic by rotating billing so my understanding is that “Sleaze” are a recurrent feature of the “Windmill” line up.
From my perspective I would certainly 100% seek them out again.
Next on stage were “Meatraffle” a perennial favourite. I was close to the front and had a good viewing spot. They played a few new songs, mixed in with some old favourites. ‘The Horseshoe” always get a strong reaction and there was also “I am not a bird” (sung by Zsa Zsa Sapien) and “Love Hz”. A number of tracks are punctuated by the horn section, which is rare in a band of this type .Their sound is moving in a more melodic direction I would say in the live setting. The first album is very eclectic and could be considered by some as a difficult listen. But having said that they have stuck to their musical principles which is great for us music snobs, who need our guilty pleasures and don’t want our favourites to enter the alternative mainstream.
One of the good things about the “Windmill” is it seems to me to be very safe space. When there by myself I invariably getting chatting and people are generally friendly. If someone bumps you by mistake they are usually extremely apologetic. It contrasts strongly with larger venues where there is often an increasingly drunk and loutish element in attendance. Perhaps that’s my age talking but no one really wants to be bothered by aggressive drunks.
Long live the Windmill!