Away/Transmission Control Division/Black Light Ascension/Naevus
London - 31 December 2014
a goth band, stupid, drum machines are what we love"
night might be the first time I've ventured to Slimelight (the club at
Electrowerkz) on New Year's Eve. Had no intention of staying until
midnight, as the bands I went to see would be off well before then and
celebrating New Year has always seemed at bit pointless, especially
with a bunch of people you don't know when you aren't drinking!
There were going to be more bands on in the club, but I really
couldn't be arsed to hang around and had never planned to. Was only
really there to see She Past Away anyway. Contending with pissed
assholes on the night bus is a chore at the best of times, on NYE it's
Anyway, first up was an acoustic set from Naevus' Lloyd James.
I'd only seen them for the first time recently supporting Black
Volition in a church. It was still Naevus tracks and I recognised at
least one from the previous gig. The sound was great and the tracks
really worked stripped to the vocal and acoustic guitar. It's the kind
of thing that gets lumped in with Goth, but the lyrics are often about
social justice or other real world issues rather than sex, love,
fairies and shit. Extensive back catalogue though, so there might be
one about fairies. If they do one about vampires I'm sure it would be
the economic kind. Very much worth checking out.
Black Light Ascension
I've seen a couple of times before. On
some of those they've been hampered a little by technical issues. Well,
tonight after getting an early one out of the way the set progressed
unhindered, and aided by what is now a massive sound in the downstairs
front room at Slimes blasted through a heavily electronic set. The
audience was already pretty big by this time, and the music wasn't a
million miles away from the heavy electronic dance some of the DJs play
in here, so they seemed to go down a storm. The band seemed very
pleased with the reaction. This was easily the best set I've seen them
Next up were a Joy Division covers band called Transmission Control Division.
I have to say I wasn't expecting much,
even though I generally defend covers bands. Many are made up of hugely
profiicient musicians with a massive love for the material they are
playing. Most covers bands I've seen have made for a fantastic night
out. To be honest, I've seen some that are frankly better than the
current incarnations of the original bands. I digress.
started playing I immediately made a mental note to dig out my Joy
Division albums. The guitar was for the most part absolutely spot on,
and the bit I'd feared most, the vocals, were pretty much spot on too,
even though shared between two band members. There's not a huge
of Jpy Division tracks to draw from, but it was the more awkward, less
tracks that really put a smile on my face and made me realise just how
important the interplay of guitar and bass sounds there is on those
tracks. I've not seen or heard Peter Hook's band, but I reckon this lot
could give him a run for his money.
So to She Past Away.
didn't fully catch why Idris, the bassist couldn't make it. They are
from Turkey, so could be any number of transport related issues. There
was a young lady on a mixing desk, and everything but the guitar and
vocal was coming from pre-recorded sources. This didn't bother me
particularly, as the guitar is such a large part of the sound and well,
it's a goth band, stupid, drum machines are what we love!
I've only recently got into this lot, and discogs describes them
as sounding like the Sisters/Cure/Xymox.
Well, that's missing Xmal
Deutchland which is far closer to what they do on many of their tracks.
The vocals are set relatively low in the mix, the main focus
being the guitar line underpinned by a prominent and consistent rolling
bass/drum combination. I think all the tracks are sung in Turkish, but
I think I'd have struggled to make out individual words even if sung in
English. The vocal is largely another texture to the sound, especially
The room was packed by now, and most were dancing. On stage you
can guess it was dry ice, mainly static, eyes down, mouth very close to
the mic, just bloody getting on with it. Exactly what I came