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Clit RockZoëtrøpe
Throwing Up
Sarah Johns Music Party

Clit Rock @ The Lexington, London
Sunday May 27 2012 



Clit Rock might sound like a new riot grrl club, but in fact a serious purpose lurks behind the name. Tonight's event is in support of the Daughters Of Eve, who campaign to raise awareness of female genital mutilation.

That's something which I'd previously filed away in my brain under the comfortingly vague heading of 'Bad stuff that happens somewhere else', although according to the on-stage intro talk by a DOE rep, it happens in the UK, too. Yep, the supposedly enlightened, sophisticated, equality-and-freedom UK.

That's certainly food for thought - and, I suppose, it neatly illustrates what the Daughters Of Eve are trying to do: get some info out there about a subject that too few people know about.

So here come three bands who've joined the cause and nailed their colours to the Clit Rock mast. Well, I say bands, but Sarah Johns Music Party isn't a band. She's a party of one, playing drums and electronics, voice and loops, generating an intriguing collision between acousticky folkie balladry and techie glitchcore.

If that combination sounds a bit like the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table, well, maybe it is - but Sarah Johns creates something quietly compelling out of her poles-apart influences. I particularly like the way she makes the drums go 'boink'.

Sarah Johns Music Party / Throwing Up

There's no messing around with disparate influences as far as Throwing Up are concerned. This band is punk rock through and through. And yet with a touch of rumbustious poppiness in there, too, so that even when they get all scowly and loud and intense (and, believe me, Throwing Up get very scowly and loud and intense) they are always at home to Mister Tune.

The band kicks up a righteous power-trio racket, all buzzsaw guitars and magnificent disdain, playing it fast but controlled while red LEDs and flickering back-projections bathe the band in baleful light. It all works, in a no-shit does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of way. A heady audio-visual rush, as punk as fuck, but that spark of pop sensibility makes the band unexpectedly accessible.

ZoetropeWe're in the power trio zone again with Zoëtrøpe. Well, maybe it would be more appropriate to say 'breakneck headlong crash-bash noisenik pile-up zone', for Zoëtrøpe are not so much a band as a three-piece cacophony-generation unit. But, again, let's not run away with the idea that the band just hash out mere noise. In amongst Zoëtrøpe's gleeful lo-fi pandemonium lurk some well engineered post-punky songs, all angularity and intellect.

'Demons' is a slow-burn and rev-up see-saw of a song, like a tribalist Kleenex; 'Swimming' is a drone-and-stomp workout with an effectively minimalist guitar solo. Zoëtrøpe are brilliant at setting up an exhilarating, physical racket, and then throwing unexpected ideas into the din.

It's the minor epic 'Plague' that gives us Zoëtrøpe in a nutshell. A lilting tune conceals an apocalyptic lyric - the song seems to be about the spread of plague around the world. I'm not sure if the band mean it as a metaphor for the current state of things, or if it's simply a historical treatise. Whatever the intent, the mood of wistful regret is well and truly broken as the song breaks down into a percussive commotion, the drummer flailing and yelling until the whole thing deconstructs itself in a ferment of beat-disintegration.

It's this song that hints that there's more to Zoëtrøpe than just heady noise-bursts, although it must be said they do the heady noise-bursts impressively well. But there's a fierce creativity here that could push the band in any direction. I'm going to enjoy watching which way Zoëtrøpe's art takes them.



Zoëtrøpe: MySpace | Facebook

Throwing Up: Website | MySpace | Facebook

Sarah Johns Music Party: Website | Facebook

Clit Rock: Facebook   Daughters Of Eve: Facebook

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

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