Archive for May, 2008

Airiel and Ulrich Schnauss at The Social

May 4, 2008

I can never think of clever titles for my posts. 

This was a night run by Sonic Cathedral ‘the night that celebrates itself’ (www.soniccathedral.co.uk), part of the somewhat surprising but welcome (to me anyway) resurgence of shoegaze.  We were promised DJ sets from electronic shoegazers James from Maps and Ulrich Schnauss, and live music by Autumn Chorus and Airiel.  Well, first up, we missed the DJ’ing by James due to drinking too long in the narrow and crowded bar upstairs (worth a visit btw – great jukebox, cheap ‘n’ cheerful menu including crisp sandwiches, interesting variety of booze, always lively).  James was in evidence for the rest of the evening, but I was too shy to go and say hello. 

When we finally made our ways downstairs Autumn Chorus were already playing.  This lot hail from Brighton and produce music of the post-rock variety with vocals.  We all agreed that the singer sounded a bit like Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley and maybe Nick Drake.  So really, really upbeat and cheerful then.  They made a goodly noise, quite beautiful and delicate at times, but it all sounded a bit samey with no  memorable melodies or individual songs that really grabbed me.  Perhaps not the most accessible sort of stuff to listen to in a crowded little venue when you’ve never heard any of the material before – I reckon they are worth a second listen.

http://www.myspace.com/autumnchorus

Next we had a little surprise – instead of DJ’ing, we had a proper set from Schnauss.  Good visuals and great ambient shoegaze electronica (and there aren’t many people you could describe that way).  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HOVwJq8b5A

Airiel are a “four man noise unit from Chicago”.   They are loud.  Really loud.  My ears were still ringing slightly the next morning.  They reminded me hugely of Ride (earlier Ride, when they were good), albeit with less impressive songs (i’m harping on about melody again here).  But their material is still pretty good, they played with youthful ferocity, and the general sound they produced made me happy.  Oh, and I haven’t seen such a very fine set of fringes since 1992.  I was less impressed by one of the guitarists standing on a table on stage for the entire set though – the stage is certainly very small (not actually fitting the drummer) and not particularly high, but this struck me as a bit wanky really.  I spent the set slightly hoping that his fringe would get caught in the lighting. 

http://www.myspace.com/airiel

I drank too much beer that night.  Had a bad hangover the next day (luckily had day off work).  Drank banana milk, tea, ribena, diet coke, water.  Started a thread on www.drownedinsound.com asking for recommendations for good hangover music.  Some sadists suggested hardcore techno – bastards!  Others were kinder, and I eventually found Galaxie 500, Slowdive, and Lemon Jelly to work the best.  I also dragged my sorry self out to vote in the London Mayoral election – may as well not have bothered given the stupid tory fucks that i am apparently living alongside.   

 

 

Advertisements