In what in later years will be known as Humungous Gig Clump 2009, this evening offered, amongst others, Brakes and Gindrinker in Clwb Ifor Bach, A Place To Bury Strangers and Japandroids in the Barfly, Spencer McGarry playing tunes from The Wicker Man in Milgi, Heathers and Harold And Maude on a big screen in Ten Feet Tall, Daniel Johnston at the Trinity Centre, Led Bib at the Croft, and an old man playing spoons in Bute Park. It’s possible there was something on television. My choices were like diamonds that gleamed hardest though, and it’s pure pleasure to walk back into the Meze Lounge, see Vernon on the decks, Newpart drawing on the walls like the first night of Mezefest all over again. Stop throwing up: there’s music too. Arcs Of Semen are more, er, delicate than their name may suggest, choosing to create a quiet, spectral warmth out of thin layers of guitar, drums and droned noise. This local band’s instrumental sketches stop and start brilliantly, like a minimalist Black Carrot or a very cranky Boards Of Canada, but with an endearingly amateurish, we-never-play-live quality. (Though their first releases are stronger) (Sorry)
Animal Hospital is Kevin Micka, and he has a very big table. Lots of knobs. A camera projects all this twiddling onto the wall behind him. It’s music that may come from the same guitar-and-drums-added-sparingly-to-drones place as Arcs Of Semen, but AH’s one man control centre ensure that the resultant sound destination is minutely tweaked, sculpted towards greatness. There’s a lot of looping natch, singular guitar notes modified and layered. Mostly though, it’s the noise whipped from concrete tones, gradually rising to a tasty cacophany, always based on some underlying melodic nous. Which is a windy way of saying: one song sounds like Ratatosk, one like Theo, and the rest just beautiful. It’s Sunday night and I’m in love with men in beards again.
It’s hairy in the Buffalo too. A thin crowd barely masks the four frigging drumkits onstage, along with various arms, legs and megaphones flailing. Who needs instruments? Foot Village beat skins like they’re trying to fashion Simon Weston’s face out of football trophies; furiously, maniacally happily. It’s not just drumming though: there’s lots of screaming as well. Shouting and yowling up at the sky, call and response and mentalness in the round, plus plenty of non-sequiters hurled out and repeated by each of the four members, even without the conch-like megaphone. Lest you think any of this is just noise scree, consider this: there’s more playful inventiveness, bizarro humour and party rhythms in this poxy room tonight than in most venue’s annual listings. Foot Village pop like fireworks. Aah. Ooh.