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The DogbonesThe Dogbones
Stay Beautiful @ The Purple Turtle, London
Saturday July 5 2008

 

 

 

So, here we are in the Purple Turtle. The place is full of eighties glam kids (some of whom look old enough to have been there first time round), the DJ is playing 'The Sun Always Shines On TV' by A-ha, and - I kid you not - he's doing the actions. I didn't even know there were any actions to that song, but there are certainly a few shapes being thrown in the DJ booth right now.

This faintly surreal state of affairs is Stay Beautiful, London's top nite spot for eyeliner-encrusted indie kids, glam rockers and glitter punks, and anyone who has enough chutzpah to wear a tiara in a non-ironic manner. Although primarily a DJ-driven experience, Stay Beautiful hosts a featured band early in the evening, and tonight's beat combo is the tribal-punk racket packet known as The Dogbones.

The name of the band may be new to you, but you might recognise the faces on stage. Nomi Leonard, Queen Adreena's bassist, is on guitar and vocals. Crispin Gray, Queen Adreena's guitarist, plays bass. And then there are two drummers, Bambi of Selfish Cunt and Vince Johnson from Daisy Chainsaw sharing a drum kit, sitting opposite each other like two chess players, except without quite so much in The Dogbonesthe way of quiet contemplation. And yes, as you might guess from that line-up, The Dogbones are a pounding, thumping rhythmic experience, the songs pushed and prodded along by those tub-thumping drums - but there's detail in the bash and wallop, too. Sometimes the two drummers play together, mnatching each other beat for beat. At other times they go off on their own tangents - at one point, Vince Johnson gives us some nifty rimshots, a nice bit of high end crackle amid the rolling tom-toms. (One further drum-related note: there are no snares).

Over all this, the guitar skates and skitters, while Nomi's vocals - ranging from a trance-like croon to a fearsome screech - tie everything together. The band mention the term 'grunge' to describe their music on their MySpace page, but in a way they're selling themselves short. Any resemblance to gormless angst-anthems shouted out by American blokes in lumberjack shirts is definitely tangental.

There's an almost psychedelic pop sensibility to 'The Whole World's Weird' ('It's not just you', croons Nomi, reassuringly) and 'Give Us A Kiss', an evisceration of the music biz upon which Crispin plays devil's advocate while Nomi lays the chorus down, faux-seductive. The eighties glam kids don't seem entirely convinced by The Dogbones, but I think the juxtaposition of styles and influences, the pounding and the crooning, the punky and the unexpectedly poppy, works just fine. The Dogbones come on like a tribal garage punks, but I'll bet they've got a few Beach Boys albums hidden under the bed. The Dogbones

 

Essential links:

The Dogbones: MySpace

Stay Beautiful: Website | MySpace

 

 

For more photos from this gig,
find The Dogbones by name here.

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