Monday, April 12, 2010
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Playing the second of two nights at the Northcote Social Club, Pikelet has no problem in packing the place out and assembling another stellar pair of support acts (previous night featuring The Twerps and Parking Lot Experiments). Opening the night is the revelation of a revitalised World’s End Press, who have transformed their sound and now pack one almighty punch. Free from overly dense synth chords, crowded beats and busy basslines, the Pressers (as Triple J will likely refer to them in the near future, along with Presets, Juggers and Cutters) are like some (holy) blend of a tight undrugged Shaun Ryder on top form as remixed by DFA. Bar a brave cover of West End Girls, the set is a faultless exercise in enthusiastic dance pop, gloriously free of irony or any fear that dancing like a marionette on E is something to be ashamed of. It’s all one big suggestion that 2010 will be their year.
Another contender for owning 2010, Love Connection, have been garnering praise from all corners for their rambling synth-laden rainbow-orgy of an album and it’s clear that live, they are an even more intense and dynamic prospect. Guitarist and singer Michael Caterer slashes into Kobi Simpson’s buzzing synth melodies and Dean Noble’s rolling beats, lurching from indiscernible static stutter to a raw Kobain howl. From psych-splattered opened M.L via the high points of Trilogy, Lost City of Gold and All Over the band are like an aural equivalent of a never-ending first mouthful of ultra-fizzy lemonade, and you ARE thirsty.
Curtains soon part and before us, amidst a dozen or so potplants, are the quartet known as Pikelet. Shags Chamberlain at front and centre both literally and sonically behind his Realistic synth, pushes and drags the songs’ ‘scapes from spatial and glacial (Toby Light and Swooping Buzzards) to the midst of an Amazonian rainforest (Smithereens). The sheer talent involved in the band is formidable, each member an irreplaceably unique asset. Tarquin’s vocal interjections and intricate basslines, Matt Cox’s perfectly complementary percussion, and ringleader Evelyn Morris’s subtle use of loops, dry sense of humour, brilliant compositions and pitch perfect singing. Weakest Link .. along, Allergies and Gameland are heavenly. Several new songs possibly even outshine those from Stem, the album she is launching, indicating the well isn’t running dry anytime soon.