yemen-locWe had someone looking at this website from Yemen recently. Assuming they’re not an ex-pat who’s seen Gindrinker as many times as a lot of this gig’s audience has, I wonder what they’d make of Cardiff’s cherished scumkings. Would they appreciate the squalling, thudding noise, the drum machine that judders like a stroke, the cornet occasionally taken from its box and abused? What about the atmosphere of a thousand decaying pubs, pathetic and triumphant? Anyway, hello if you’re reading. Gindrinker are a great duo that allow DC Gates to ramble and lament over Graf’s corrugated roof guitar. I just wish they’d play more new songs.

The last time Banjo Or Freakout played Cardiff their ace widescreen swirl and drone was wasted on a minuscule Clwb Ifor Bach crowd. “What is it with the people here?” I remember the confused Italian guitarist asking. “Do they always sit on chairs against the wall?” Well, sometimes. I get the feeling I’m still in a minority here, but basically: ALL YOU PEOPLE ARE WRONG AND THIS BAND ARE GREATAND I LOVE THEM AND I’M GOING TO KIDNAP THEM AND MAKE THEM PLAY FOR ME IN MY HOUSE IN THEIR PANTS. Banjo Or Freakout set up layers of guitar and keyboard noise, switch between them every other moment, introduce intermittent pounding drums, and, for some reason, turn on a small portable TV for their last song. Banging freakout shoegaze: I hope it catches on.

For this gig’s preview I said Times New Viking sounded like kittens being thrown down stairs. They don’t really, unless we’re talking particularly tuneful kittens. What we have instead is some super efficient pop band, given to burying melodic thrills in distortion, fidgety momentum and sheer volume. Primitive drums, keyboard and guitar stab each other repeatedly, always on some unstoppable forward motion: even between songs drummer Adam gabbles relentlessly while his bandmates fiddle noisily. Songs splutter or take off, mostly the latter, and usually dead short. It’s the band and set as a whole rather than their individual songs that slays here: Matt And Kim’s bug eyed, way cooler older siblings, messy and serious. We mug the merch guy.

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