The taste and smell of sawdust is still palpable in the Brudenell Social Club’s new community room on a busy, rainy Saturday night. For many of the audience members, tonight may be their first experience of a gig in the new room, and there is an unquestionable air of excitement.
First up are local lo-fi pop duo Bad Idea. They effortlessly blend whimsical pop lyrics with scuzzy riffs to create an eccentric, original sound. Vocalist Sarah Sefton has a voice which complements this well – quirky and sometimes slightly off-key, she gives lyrics that could be syrupy a decidedly bolder edge that is reminiscent of the delivery exhibited by Breakfast Muff’s Eilidh McMillan. Set highlights include their latest tracks “Time Waster” and “Boy Racer”.
The second support act of the evening, Glass Mountain, are a multi-instrumental ambient delight from Bradford. Their epic composition of morose guitar riffs and soaring vocals manages to create an atmosphere in the room that is at once deeply yearning and expansively evocative. Their sound ranges vastly from the mournful, orchestral lament of tracks such as “More Than This” to the scuzzy, screechy riffs of unreleased track “Gin Flows Through My Veins”. The accompanying visuals, featuring astronomical imagery, are a fitting backdrop for the otherworldly, eerie mood of latest track “Cowboy Song”. The band are clearly heavily influenced by the melancholy synth-pop of The Cure in the 1980’s coupled with the lyrical disenfranchisement of The Smiths. This is showcased perfectly in the final song of their set, the eminently moving “Glacial”. The band’s on-stage persona in between tracks is light and humorous and somewhat at odds with the profundity of their music, but this does allow a little welcome relief from the intensity of their live performance.SlØtface explode onto the stage with a burst of energy that is quite at odds with their support. It is clear to see that they are a band with undeniable chemistry – they love performing together and their collective discord is infectious. They launch straight into crowd-favourite “Magazine”. Somehow the live performance of this track manages to eclipse even the compelling dynamism of the recording. Every member of the band is involved in what can only be described as a jubilant collective mosh and the audience are quick to respond in kind.
The band go on to perform “Pools” and “Pitted” with equal vigour, evoking comparison to pop-punk riot-grrl bands such as Bikini Kill and The Runaways. Their seemingly inexorable vitality reaches a peak when bassist Lasse LokØy leaps off the stage and parts the crowd to form a mosh-pit in the centre of the room. The audience relish the opportunity to participate in the contagious enthusiasm exuded by every member of SlØtface and the floor soon descends into exuberant chaos.
In between songs, SlØtface are charming and entertaining. Their droll humour quickly silences the jokers in the crowd and creates a friendly, warm atmosphere that allows everyone to get involved. This seems key to the irrefutably triumphant spirit of their live shows. They manage to keep their stage persona light and witty whilst also clearly showcasing their strong feminist values.
SlØtface’s energetic performance whips both audience and band into an inexorable frenzy as the show came to a raucous crescendo with new single “Backyard”, resulting in a stifling heat which causes lead singer Haley Shea to remove her t-shirt for the last song!