Yes, there is a lot of this stuff around at the moment, as someone said to me recently. It’s possibly sad, and a little Q Magazine Women In Rock Issue that people still get worked up about all-female guitar bands but what can I say? I’m one of them, and long ago converted to thinking women in bands look better, and play less like a giant penis. The lineage that broadly includes Liliput, Deep Lust, Betty & The Werewolves and the Vivian Girls makes my heart skip beats, and gets plugged into nicely tonight. La La Vasquez are from Brighton, start off mostly black clad and grumpy, and end channeling Shangri La ghosts and thumping them down long echo chambers. All three members wring out wordless harmonies that swirl round the cardboard box drums and reserved guitar sass. An older, better hack once noted the knobhead view that men in bands choose to play lofi and primitive, while women simply can’t play their instruments. All I know is La La Vasquez are zero-messing smart tonight, a dark wave of Wet Dog-referencing vitality and that’s all you need.
By the way, it’s totally fucking right to mention how bands look. You ever had a poster on your wall? Godspeed Brilliant Colors then, who look like mental patients who met accidentally, or possibly three women from very different evening classes. There’s a definite, uh, musical similarity between the two bands on tonight’s bill, but whereas La La Vasquez are consistently bruising, Brilliant Colors are excellently awkward, songs creaking with hesitant fumbling before smacking straight down that same no-guitar-solo line. Just one mic, and Jess Scott’s high, airy vocals, give a weirdly fragile feel to these scratchy, trebly numbers but they’re equally satisfying: short bursts of energy, equal parts daydreaming and downhill chugging. They even come close to omitting their best song; an eventual encore yields the terrific ‘Should I Tell You’, which nears Best Coast’s high watermark of sharp melodies wrapped in fuzz and cotton wool. People dance, sort of. Like the whole of tonight, a direct-to-brain shot of superior rock thrills, and a bit of a triumph.