Bow Wow Wow, Pifco and Kleine Schweine: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Bow Wow Wow were infamous with several things in the eighties; managed by the veteran Malcolm McLaren, having a naked picture of the lead singer on the album cover at the age of 14 and going wild in the country, but tonight the memory that will mostly probably resonate, is the band’s attitude towards YouTube.

Eighteen pounds on the door, was maybe one of the Brudenell’s more expensive shows, but the spread of mix match bands made it worth the extra pennies. The crowd were as eccentric as may have been expected, and with a quirky band like Bow Wow Wow, the fans had their own unique style some dressed in bowler hats and faded pin striped suits leant from ABC in their ‘Look of Love’ video and some others were just keeping punk alive.

First offering themselves up to the crowd were political punksters Kleine Schweine.  The Little Pigs played an aggressive set full of organised energy to a fairly relaxed crowd.   With their obtuse subjects of songs, including song about the leader of the socialist party in Albania, Edi Rama, the band were bound to raise an eyebrow or few and confusion was probably a reason that the crowd were fairly static. The band weren’t put off and fought harder for the audience’s attention and despite guitarist Drew being a little under the weather, Kleine Schweine managed reignited the crowds’ passion for rebellion.

Pifco maybe should have opened the show, after the audience had been livened up through musical made up memoirs of Albania; the spoken indie synth pop seemed somewhat out of place.  The band received a warm reception from the crowd, but the Art Brut style talk singing seemed fairly lifeless after having been screamed at.  Their songs were a sombre interval from the madness before them and what was about to follow them.

For the last couple of years, revivals have been very popular and Bow Wow Wow may not have been one that had been foreseen. The band arrived on stage, minus their lead singer Annabella Lwin and for a minute you wondered if they were going to play a lyric less set.  After initial shrugs Annabella skipped onto the stage obviously still stuck in her past, wearing skimpy white frilly hot pants, a loud patterned shirt and a baseball cap with sides.  The fans swarmed the front of the stage and looked up at Annabella starry eyed reliving their youth.  She thanked the acts that had supported including “Some German Band”.  Their energy was encouraging and their performance was electric, Annabella skipped high kneed and playfully worked her mic.

The clientele in the Brudenell were fans that had traveled all over to see the gimmicky band and everyone in the room was eager to capture the band on camera, but this wasn’t welcomed by them, “excuse me please don’t film us, or put us on YouTube, it is illegal and you’re not allowed to do it”, the room reacted like pupils would have done to a teacher and camera screens popped up all over the room followed by sniggering.

The diehard fans salivated as the band took a trip to the countryside, every bit the performers the musicians focused heavily on their instruments as Annabella acted out the song, with comical expressions and large dance moves.  ‘I want Candy’ was the next song that wowed the audience and let the slightly younger members of the audience feel included.

The set was entertaining and more, it was one that hardcore fans were ecstatic to be part of and newcomers were left with a handful at laughs and strong memories of a pantomime performance.