It all begins with a wall-melting hurricane of white noise. Then,
about two minutes in, you come to the realisation that watching Kap
Bambino perform live is an
experience something akin to being bludgeoned repeatedly in
the face with a Casio keyboard weighted down with rocks.
This French duo have a reputation for manic live performances, and
they’re not gonna disappoint tonight.
Singer Caroline Martial seems particularly unhinged. Clad
in black leather, she stares,
deadeyed and urgent, her head motionless but her body twitching manically to the rhythm. bambino
The music, meanwhile, is crunchy electro, monolithically heavy in
places, but always frantically intense.
The Macbeth crowd is split pretty much fifty-fifty: those far too cool to dance, and those cool enough not to care.
It gets pretty hairy down the front. Someone clatters the overhead P.A., setting it swinging precipitously over the heads of the moshpit, so Caroline
decides to go crowd-surfing,
clutching the mic like a weapon, her wordless yelp piercing the chaotic noise.
Eventually, inevitably, crowd merges with stage and Kap
Bambino are lost in a sea of thrashing limbs.
My advice: go see this band live. If you get out alive, you’ll have a smile on your face.
Kicking off with a shoegaze classic, The Jesus & Mary Chain’s ‘Just Like Honey’ (itself chosen as a beautifully melancholic closing theme to Lost In
also features Ride and Slowdive – two acts still somewhat regarded as a joke in sniffier rock-hack circles, for their perceived miserablism.
Put in context now, alongside the compilation’s more contemporary cuts from Boards Of Canada, Maps and M83, such dismissal now seems ludicrously unfair,
with both acts patently demonstrating far more imagination and craft than a thousand Coldplay-clones.
The placing of the tracks in this context is instructive – Maps
received a Mercury nomination for a debut album that shared many
traits with the likes of the Cocteau Twins and Chapterhouse,
yet were Maps to be labelled as shoegaze – a term that followed
around Amusement Parks On Fire, to detrimental effect – you get
the feeling the critics wouldn’t be so readily forthcoming with
Despite displaying all of the genre’s hallmarks, it’s rare for anybody to label Sigur Ros or Mogwai as shoegaze.
And the genre’s influence is felt in the best leftfield indie – Asobi
Seksu, Fuck Buttons and The Big Pink for example – and even in
with Gui Boratto and Nathan Fake crafting beauty from shoegaze-esque drones and waves of noise.
Perhaps it’s time for Rob Da Bank to help find a betterfitting label for ‘shoegaze’,
as these artists and their fans seem to be looking anywhere other than down.
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