Sunday, 10 February 2013

Horse Meat - Hold Your Horse Is and The Jorneta Stream Live Review. The Old Blue Last.

Hold Your Horse Is *****

The Jorneta Stream ****1/2*Part Dinosaur *****Luke Godwin *****

The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch Wednesday 6th February

Underwear. We all wear it (well, most of us). And, while its functions largely remain the same, we all have wildly different undies. Some functional to stop wobbling, sagging or chaffing. Some titillating or for others’ eyes. Some purely for comfort. Others for speed. But all, as I say, different.

And (with an almighty shoehorn) I feel its the same with music. We buy or buy into some music because we feel comfortable. Some to be intentionally uncomfortable. Some for show (admit it, we’ve all bought an album because we think we should or to be conspicuous in front of others when, actually, we think it smells of five day old fish). Some because we genuinely love it.

So, tonight’s collection of undies has brought out a predictable crowd of musos, freaks, geeks, hipsters and achingly cool Hoxton luvvies to have a good rummage.

Luke Godwin *****

First on the rack is a stripped-down solo acoustic pair of y-fronts. With piping. Ok, the room is barely habited for the devil’s own first support slot, but undaunted, young Mr Godwin steams into a fiery and full-on set full of spit and steam.

But that’s the problem. Underneath it all is a solid, comfy pair of kecks, but he insists in covering them with aggressive fluorescent leopard print. Everything is strummed to buggery and the only respite is the occasional palm mute. A bit like Rob Lynch and the more assaulty side of Frank Turner, subtlety and light and shade are not invited to this party. There are slightly bluesier, Zeppelin-infused soft bits towards the end, but the earlier assault has already bruised the flesh which can’t be covered by late lace. Clearly a good guitarist with a decent enough voice, but these pants are far too scratchy, uncomfortable and ultimately unwearable. Shame.

Part Dinosaur *****

Next up a technical under-wired, ergonomically bio-moulded space age onesie. But with a bloody great tear in the front. Things kick off encouragingly, with techy, proggy, mathy smoothness but when the singing, let’s be fair, it could be a catastrophic foldback problem or a dose of man flu, but whatever is to blame, the banshee-like, tuneless and flat as the contents of James Cordon’s back pocket vocals are just terrible.

The pleasant enough post-rock noodlings and cascading, lacy, interesting fabric is just ripped asunder and any allure or appeal completely destroyed. The worst thing is that when the vocalist realises he’s over-stretched the waistband going for the note and fails, he reverts to dreadful gruff screams to try and cover up the unsightly skidmarks. Painful.

Terribly unfair to be over-critical on one display. Let’s just hope it’s an off night. But sadly, this ripped, skidmarked onesie is on the ‘use for rags’ pile. Once the skiddies have been steamed off, of course.

The Jorneta Stream ****1/2*

A decent sized throng has gathered by the time the next tantalisingly ribboned lingerie box is due to be opened. And what a delicious surprise lies within. 

A wonderful mash up of proggy, jaunty, polyrhythmic, tappy, slidy, chuggy and buoyant splendour fused with wit, sarcasm, fire and a dollop of brimstone. This is top shelf, top drawer underwear. Sexy, fun, sophisticated, beautifully crafted, original, dangerous and gorgeous.

Despite the still-watered librarian look (think Weezer or Andy Holloway from Yearbook), there is pure, cock throbbing filth beneath the surface. The songs are a wonderful mix of short, sharp wit-bombs and longer, multi-layered journeys replete with grandeur, pomp and incision. There are moments of Reuben, TTNG, Deadlights, Brontide and even the insane, outrĂ© and brilliance of Lite but with melody, lyrical chicanery and hooks. Yup, you ‘eard, even chorussy type moments. But this is far from indulgent shoe-gazing aimed at a closed school of mumbling musos. It’s intelligent, inclusive, accessible and innately clever stuff.

Underwear to wear, show off, parade around in and to have a filthy, up to the hilt full-on fuck fest with. But always worn with a smile. Brilliant.

Hold Your Horse Is *****

Like a favourite pair of M&S apple catchers, there’s an ironic comfort in HYHI’s uncomfortableness. On the surface, there’s a straightforward appeal. An attractive poppiness. Fused with an art-house alty vibe. But on closer examination, there’s a darker, broodier thread cross-pollinated with a rockier, more malevolent edge. And it works.

Hampered slightly by a broken finger, lanky and spiky front man Robin Pearson leads from the front armed with his dual-output trusty riff machine he strums and thunders his way through a very short set showcasing works from the wonderful Frimley album (well, the ones where he doesn’t need to indulge in any intricate finger work). 

A disappointingly reduced crowd thanks to the late start time (all the trendies, boozers, losers and MDMA users have probably taken their beards and feature spectacles and monocles down to Brick Lane for bagels or organic root juice) laps it up and while there’s not much movement down the front, there’s an appreciative love in the room.

And deservedly so. Buchanan, Everything’s So Mundane and new boy Douche Beige are among the highlights of the night and proof that there’s a real sassiness and sexiness in uncomfortable comfort. 

Tonight's proceedings end in typical nihilistic HYHI style with Pearson lying down, Chris Rouse using his kit as sticks and hitting the floor with his crash and the schmoove-moving schoolboy bass machine James Penny throwing shapes and molesting his bass like Hannibal Lecter being let loose on agent Starling. Stirring and bonkers stuff.

These pants will remain firm favourites; functional, funky, sexy, all underpinned with that slight discomfort to keep buttocks and wobbly bits shifting and resisting settling and safety. Everyone should own a pair.

Next up, Hacktivist and Death Of An Artist.

In the meantime, here are a couple of vids of the underwear on show:

More tunes soon. Bwoooar!

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