Band – Cutting Pink With Knives
Support – Ice Sea Dead People, The Smoking Hearts, Scream! Shout! Say Nothing
Venue – Club 85, Hitchin (old haunt)
Cost – Â£5
A chance to see 4 bands for 5 quid in the day-glow tastic walls of Hitchin’s Club 85 was too good an opportunity to miss; so I headed on down for what proved to be both an exciting and disappointing night (more on that later).
The first band, Ice, Sea, Dead People (terrific name) were a pulsating wave of furiously noisy art-punk that fell into the same realms of catchiness as the common cold and Les Savy Fav. Incredibly tight in some places, but wildly out of control and abrasive in others, this Bedford trio deserve a much higher billing nest time they play. The intense barrage of ‘Hence Elvis‘ (the bands debut single) is a strong reminder that the spirit that Q and not U left is not dead yet. Erratically excellent.
If Ice, Sea, Dead People ripped holes in people’s ear-drums with their rhythmic slabs of condensed aural-battery, George Street’s The Smoking Hearts stamped all over the remains in steal-plated boots. Like receiving an unexpected fly kick, they blasted onto the stage and started pummelling their dirty punk rock into the audience’s ears. Vocalist “Rodd Lethal’ (ho, ho, ho) had obviously been to the Matt Caughthran school of “how to be an insanely brilliant frontman.’ His attitude, stage presence (or lack of, as most of the time he was dancing around the floor like an electrocution victim) was full of venomous fire; whilst the riffs chugged out like Winnebago Deal covering songs by The Bronx.
Hertfordshire’s Scream! Shout! Say Nothing were next, fusing earnest sounding post-hardcore with huge anvil-like choruses. Vocalist Ben Davies seemed to shift from a bile-spitting monster to a crooning heart-broken shell of a person at the drop of hat. His tendency to be everywhere at once was both charming and worrying i.e. rolling around on the floor amidst several enthusiastic dancers. I felt that in some places they were slightly lost to most of the audience, who seemed to prefer slamming into each other during the heavier parts and not doing much else during the really beautiful parts (which drew to mind the sound of a young Isis and even *Shels!) Overall, they should be pleased with their performance – it was passionate, incredibly tight and any band that sounds similar to Secondsmile gets my vote.
Cutting Pink With Knives have always been a favourite band of mine, particularly live, so naturally I was delirious with joy when they came on to the stage. For the short time they played, they didn’t disappoint. Splicing material from their two most recent long players, “Oh Wow!‘ and the stupidly happy “Populuxxe‘ they were in fine form (despite faulty microphones at the beginning); vocalist Eddy spent most of his time running around the bemused crowd, whilst bassist Alex threw himself from stage to the floor like some kind of schizophrenic weeble. It’s blink and you’ll miss it, pop-grind – in 5 minutes, 5 songs have been played and they plough on and on, battering you into submission with programmed beats and intense screams of delight. It’s like a pack of kids in a sweet shop! “Coasts‘ is a particular highlight, as is the noise-riot of “Fuck You I’m The King of France’, whilst “I <3 Structuralists‘ and “My Head Is Full Of Teeth‘ sound simply gorgeous.
However, due to the incredibly stupid and intimidating behaviour of one particular drunken patron (who it also appears was responsible for several other incidents during the gig), Cutting Pink With Knives were forced (for their own safety) to cut their set short. It’s a great shame when the actions of one person can spoil such a brilliant evening for everyone else.
(Expect another review of CPWK when I go see them supporting the rather awesome Cadence Weapon in a few weeks, oh yeah!)
Words + Pics – Ross Macdonald