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The NaturalsThe Chapman Family
Cold In Berlin
The Naturals

Bull And Gate, London
Thursday March 15 2012

 

 

Ah, the Bull And Gate. Ancestral home of indie. And here come The Naturals, adding yet another layer to the accumulated indie-ness that practiically covers the Bull And Gate's back room like ectoplasmic wallpaper.

The Naturals aren't bad, in that scuzzy, skittering, indie guitar band kind of way, but I can't find anything that nudges the band above the massed ranks of all the other scuzzy, skittering indie guitar bands I've seen over the years...some of them right here at the Bull And Gate. The old traditions continue, obviously. And that's nice to know. But personally, I'd like to see a band with a bit more bite.

Cold In Berlin should do the job. They're all bared teeth and grimaces...metaphorically, of course. Well, occasionally in reality, too. There's a certain no-shit determination to Cold In Berlin, a feeling that the band is just going to come hurtling headlong through any obstacles that might pop up in their path.

At any rate, we're only a few songs in before vocalist Cold In BerlinMy leaps off the stage and takes the show to the audience...whether the audience wants it or not. She's a one-woman whirl, a frenzy of angst and attitude, while the band brew up a high-pressure sonic storm that's all hurtling rhythms and effect-mashed guitar. Cold In Berlin strip the indie ectoplasm from the Bull And Gate's walls. Rock as redecoration. That's the way to do it.

If Cold In Berlin strip away the Bull And Gate's indie ectoplasm, The Chapman Family give the fixtures and fittings of the venue a good going over with coarse grade sandpaper.

The band, as ever, is a roaring gale of umbrage, a baleful blast of disenchantment with the world at large. This attitude, bristling with pique and antagonism, is what defines The Chapman Family - they're like first-album Clash, if Joe Strummer had got really annoyed.

The focus of the storm is vocalist Kingsley Chapman, who glowers his way through the set amid an almost visible aura of divine discontent. The other Chapmans (Chapmen? Chaps?) maintain a barrage of feisty rock noise with every sign of enjoyment - and if, as previously when I've seen this band, I end up feeling a little restless as one barrelling angst-anthem follows another, the sheer rush of it all carries the day.

The Chapman FamilyThe Chapman Family don't deal in variety. Their armoury only contains one type of ordnance. But their missiles always find the target.

 

The Chapman Family: Website | MySpace | Facebook

Cold In Berlin: Website | MySpace | Facebook

The Naturals: Website | Facebook

 

Find a Cold In Berlin interview here,
and an album review here.

For more photos from this gig,
find the bands by name here.

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Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.
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