Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Scarlet Harlots @ The Rainbow, 16/02/09

The evening started badly while queueing, with me knocking over a metal barrier in the street, and the sound of its falling over reverberated across what must have been the whole planet.

I've never been to The Rainbow before. It's in Digbeth, and like the Barfly a little further up, it is scuzzy as you can get before you just don't want to go in. You can't say it isn't atmospheric though, with fairy lights and ceiling beams and tiny corridors really not suited to a heaving music venue. I liked it and I'm looking forward to a better gig there.

It was packed, and with all the worst of people. I don't think there was a single music lover in the place - they were that breed of teen that the NME writes for: squealy things wearing too much make up and short skirts, carrying bags full of whatever drugs and booze they could scrounge off their older siblings, wearing extremely unsuitable footwear, and only there to take a million photos of themselves in their new Gucci sunglasses, which they were, of course, still wearing in the dark of the venue. None of them looked old enough to vote, and I'm sure there were goings-on in the toilets I can barely imagine. People were actually dancing to Jay-Z remixes, as if they were suddenly cool because they were being played at a Scarlet Harlots gig. I have been to a few gigs now, and never have I been to one which looked more like a scene from Skins.

The first band on I didn't catch the name of, but they sounded like a half-baked Editors with more electronics, so I don't think I want to know the name anyway. The second band were Yelps, who I went to see, and they were definitely not what I was expecting. The synth-based angular pop actually encouraged that unnerving glowsticks-and-PVC atmosphere which was already lurking. The vocals were more approximate than they are in the recordings, and the songs were all much of a muchness. Though the crowd were having fun, I guess they were out to have fun whether the band were good or not.

I left pretty sharpish. That is the effect the 'scene' scene has on me.

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