Those fine chaps at Interstellar Overdrive certainly treated us last night, offering up three wonderful bands for our enjoyment.
Control Of The Going
Ashton’s Control Of The Going started the night having just passed their first year anniversary. it’s been a remarkable ride for Liam Hart and Co. They started the night’s fun with their laid back BJM inspired sound.
A brand new song started the set, a jangly-dance number for young Mods. Then into the droning delights of ‘Wild Flower’ and its evergreen riff. Next is ‘Star’, is a classic slice of Manchester pop, obfuscated under waves of sublime guitar. ‘She’ is already becoming a set favourite, starting out with frontman Liam in singer-songwriter mode before the rest of the band kicks in for a full flowering of the number, then turning into a hair-raising ride between Liam’s guitar and Matt Byrne’s Euphora Machine (the drums). The set ended with ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down’, olde worlde psych which rolled along beautifully, guitars rather reminiscent of The Chameleon’s ‘Indiana’.
All in all Control Of The Going are growing in skill and confidence. They look at home on the stage. Matt’s drumming, almost jazzy when I saw them at The Royal Oak is becoming clipped and bossy. In football terms he’s gone from a tricky winger to a box to box midfielder. Ash and occasional member Ste offering subtle shades with the guitar, with Minesh finds holes to colour in with his keys. Which leaves the self-assured Tom on bass, who still needs to be higher in the mix. I’ll keep saying it lads, turn Tom up!
ILL were a wonderful surprise. A raucous post-punk act who blew fresh air into Soup Kitchen. I loved them but I imagine others were left cold, though their very divisiveness are part of their gutsy appeal. It’s a post punk sound straight through. My initial touch-stone was the keys of Magazine which immediately leads to realising that the lyrics and delivery have a certain Howard Devoto quality: quizzical, playful and smarter-than-you. It’s a rough sound which recalls the bass-as-weapon philosophy of Gang Of Four and the caterwauling of The Slits. Then the “big crashing beat” of The Fall… and while we’re on the subject, if you were to cite The Fall mid 80s with Brix in charge and the bass turned up, that wouldn’t a bad place to start when talking about this band. And while we’re at it, the nauseous robo-dance of Devo. Look, there was a lot going into this sound, OK?!
Opener ‘Ambulance’ cleansed the palette with funeral keys and a spoken word vocal, imagine if The Passage’s Pindrop was an album you could listen to. ‘Stuck On A Loop’ was absolutely joyous tidal wave of DIY dance. ‘Bus Shelter’ was chaos.
Lola Colt seemed to have a very difficult task following two such acts but bloody hell they did it. The most amazing about this spaghetti-western psych band is how they manage to have so much going on all at once and not only does it not become a mess, it fits together to become a sensational whole. Let’s look at who they’ve got filling up a stage. Gun, possessed with a voice to stop traffic and the magnetic stage presence of a human sized King Cobra. Two guitar hero’s: Matthew and James, trading Herculean interplay. Sinah’s gravelly bass rumbling along. Martin’s thumping drums. Kitty with a massed rank of keyboards. Plus Gun sometimes plays guitar, there’s rogue bass drums knocking about and an instrument that myself and the aforementioned Matt Byrne couldn’t identify. This paragraph has gone on far longer than I anticipated and is likely to be really boring, but this emphasises how much there was going on… and there was space for everything. Each member brought a shedload to the show, with huge, charismatic, star-turn performances.
The highlight of the set for me ‘Driving Mr Johnny’, pure transcendence and hammered out with a crucifying conviction. New single ‘Twist Through The Fire’ was jaw dropping, somehow managing to sound like a blend of ‘LA Woman’, ‘Marquee Moon’ and ‘The Chain’ as it changed shape throughout it’s run time.
The coolest band out there right now.
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