93 Feet East, London
Friday April 6 2007
Bragg once memorably described himself as 'A one-man Clash with very
cheap trousers.' By the same token, I think Sportsday
Megaphone could quite reasonably be characterised as a one-man
Devo in High Street leisurewear. Lurching and jerking around the stage,
thrashing mightily at a guitar while a laptop rinses out some bangin'
beats, he's a whole new wave all by himself. It's all very twenty-first
century, this business of solo performers doing what once would have
been done by a band, and if Mr Megaphone (or can I call him Sportsday?)
doesn't quite manage to fill the stage with his presence, it's not for
want of a concept.
was I saying about solo performers? Here's another. Publicist
is a drummer. Just that: a drummer. He flails with great gusto at a
kit set up on the dance floor, where the mosh would be if this was a
normal band performance. A backing track burbles and rumbles, the drums
crash and clatter, together making a minimalist, but loud, dance groove.
It must be said that Mr Publicist is a very good drummer, but I'm a
little nonplussed to find that there's no other element to his show.
I mean, the world is
full of good drummers - drummers who could do everything Publicist is
doing here before us on the floor - but most of them are content to
station themselves at the back of a stage and power a band along. I
can't help feeling this set has more to do with Publicit's own desire
to grab a share of the limelight, rather than because he's had any kind
of real performance idea.
With two - count 'em, two - people on stage, Dandi
Wind almost counts as a full-scale orchestra in this company.
Stationed behind his keyboards, allowing himself the occasional quizzical
glance from beneath his fringe, beat-controller Szam maintains an almost
Ron Mael-like air of bemused detachment. Meanwhile, up front, Dandi
herself cavorts mightily, throwing bizarre shapes and gestures, hurling
herself this way and that as if invisible spirits are chasing her. What's
more, she does it all while wearing...a string of soft-toy sausages.
Well, how else would you describe a strange tubular length of stuffed
fabric? The music, naturally, doesn't stop. Rhythms surge and rush like
a waterfall, staccato keyboard stabs bip-bip-bip like there's no tomorrow.
Dandi Wind make dance music for speedfreak windmills. This is one band
who you can guarantee will never say, 'Hey, this is where we take it
down a liddle,' and then go into a soppy ballad. For that, much gratitude.
big finish has to be 'Balloon Factory', Dandi Wind's top tune, and a
song which incorporates possibly the greatest nonsense chorus ever.
Dandi surveys the 19th century cast-iron columns which support the venue
roof with an appraising eye. 'I wonder if I can climb up that pole?'
she muses, half to herself. Then the beat drops, the song's away - and
she does climb the pole, scrambling from PA stack to the shoulders
of the crowd, until finally she makes it to her vantage point far above
the astounded audience. And she never misses a word of the lyrics. Now,
you don't get pole dancing like that down at Spearmint Rhino, do you?
I've a good mind to cancel my membership.
Website | MySpace
Website | MySpace
more photos from this gig, find Dandi Wind by name here.