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Sportsday MegaphoneDandi Wind
Publicist
Sportsday Megaphone

93 Feet East, London
Friday April 6 2007

 

 

Billy 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.

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What 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 Publicistis 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.

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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.

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Dandi WindThe 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.

 

Essential links:

Dandi Wind: Website | MySpace
Publicist
: MySpace
Sportsday Megaphone
: Website | MySpace

For more photos from this gig, find Dandi Wind by name here.

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  Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson.
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