Arrived at the Astoria ("Oh, of course, it's the *gay* place!") to find that the affair had been downsized to the Mean Fiddler venue a few doors along. Due, obviously, to technical problems, and not anything to do with the number of tickets sold, or rather, unsold.
Waved at a mrph and a grahamb. Laughed at goths. As you do.
Inside, full of shiny glowy things (the things are also people). Downstairs, full of music, which drew me away from the shiny glowy things. Film at 11. Random bleepiness for a while. Then, bands.
The JuJu Babies I had been very keen to see, since they're made up mostly of people from Gossips (where I spend a fairly large amount of time) and I'd much admired one of their songs played at Electric Dreams. I'd been warned that they were sort of indescribable, which I suppose they are, but I was in paradise over them - I could have watched them for hours. Their songs are strong and quirky synthpop and their performance art-esque stage presence is eye-catching to say the least - though I could have done without the two band members who weren't even pretending to play instruments. Well, I suppose every band needs a Bez. The lead and backing singers were both extremely cute and very good. And one of the band had a Theremin. Bounce. :)
Kinetic were...like Kraftwerk, only actually enjoyable and interesting. ~g~ I was somewhat dubious at first but, despite the odd technical problem, by the end of their set I was bouncing like a mad thing. Very, very, very like being in 1979 - their opening invitation "Welcome to the future according to Kinetic" was almost laughable - but then, I love that sort of thing, so I was happy. Purely synth and vocoder-based, with accompanying films. And neon. :)
Discoordinated were a replacement for Computorgirl. I can't tell you a great deal about what they were like, since half way through their first piece I escaped upstairs so I couldn't hear it any more. They were *far* too loud, and as discordant as their name might suggest, and the vocalist had two microphones - one for him, one for his fucking ego. Apparently steer quite liked them; go ask him what they were all about.
Goteki I was somewhat apprehensive about, as I really wanted to like them but all reports I'd heard of them live were extremely negative.
I needn't have worried. La Sneaky has stage presence rivalling that of Boy George - couldn't take my eyes off him, which is impressive for a short guy with bad bleached hair and a grey/khaki vest top. ~s~ I'd not heard any of the Goteki stuff before, and was much impressed by most of it - just seemed more varied and imaginative than the Sneaky Bat Machine things I've heard. His voice makes me weak at the knees. I liked. :)
Marlow were. Um. Interesting.
See, I fall down here completely. I have no idea what to say about them. Looking at the original flyer for Elektrofest I see it says "featuring Robert Marlow, Basildon synth pioneer and Vince Clarke Collaborator". Somehow, I'm not surprised.
I liked them - I really did, for the first five or six songs. But they seemed so wildly out of place - I said to mrph later that it felt like the B-52s had suddenly gatecrashed a party for cybergoths. And the songs that followed those first enjoyable ones were deeply formulaic; not always a problem, but the formula in question was 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. dennyd had me in paroxysms of laughter by singing it along with one of them - it went perfectly.
I don't know. A (very good) keyboardist in a sparkly shirt and combats, a big fat businessman vocalist, and two backing singers with dance routines...I don't know what to say.
The Droyds I'd been looking forward to seeing, since their cover/paraphrase of 'Girls On Film' is very good and painfully stylish. And painfully stylish they were - sharp suits and slick hair for the men, and expertly disarrayed blonde fringe for the girl. Technically rather good. Sound sparse, backing singer's pout louder than synths, etc.
But they just lacked...any kind of sparkle, anything to catch my interest. And ye gods, was the backing singer flat. It seemed to me that she'd been included in the band for the same reasons, and probably found in the same way, as the two girls in the Human League. It got to the point where I couldn't differentiate between the songs, which is one of my pet hates; I think they impressed some people, but I wasn't one of them.
XPQ-21 are led by a lunatic. But he's a very good, powerfully eye-catching, earnestly energetic lunatic. And god damn their songs are good. I was a bit bowled over by just how good, and how much I enjoyed what they were playing, so excuse me if I can't say very much - I'm sure others will have. Really, really liked them. Want to see them again. Yes. :)
Covenant...well...by the time they came on I was tired and in pain (I fell over trying to escape the crowds at the end of XPQ-21 and someone very kindly stepped on my neck) and I didn't know most of what they played and was watching them from behind glass. They're good, but I knew that, and could have known that without watching them; the vocalist may well have been as interesting as the others during the night but it didn't feel that way from where I was. What I enjoyed most about the Covenant set was watching the crowd who were loving it...lights playing across people dancing and shouting out the lyrics and smiling euphorically. I love that.
But I wanted them to shut up so I could go home already, and I wouldn't have felt the same about the JuJu Babies or Goteki, so hey. Not my thing, I guess. But it was great to watch the people whose thing it *was*. ~smile~
Roll call : dennyd, mrph, grahamb, steer, childeric, cyberpunkgrrl, tephramancy, delomelas, perverse_idol, logothetes, cybermuppet, agent5, silveraj, toxicbunny, kesstrel. If you were there and I missed you, I'm sorry. ~s~
What? Oh - yes, of course I only actually spoke to about half of ^those and recognised the rest from stalking. ~g~ Of course. (Much squeaking of "My god! He's real!" over one of them, as well. Ahem.)
Yes. Had fun. Thank you, dennyd, for taking me. Bounce. ~smile~