Sunday, 6 February 2011

Gig Swig: Slum Party #1 @ The Labour Club, Northampton (Saturday 5th February 2011)

Who said music had to be conventional? Music is an art of convention and structure, sure thang! But every so often a band will come along with their own ideas about how music should be played. Slum Party; the new club night from local legend Chris East brings unconventional bands and places them right in your face. The line up is a great one to kick off the night's reputation. With Pheromoans, Halo Halo and Blood Visions all tearing up the rule books in their own super ways, the night goes from strength to strength. The gig is like a bad party, in all the right ways. Blood Visions rip the stage apart with their sound that takes the loud/quiet technique and turns it up to eleven. This results in a new sound called loud/louder. Their usual drummer is absent, but Northampton based musician Matt King steps up and murders the drum kit. Playing their classic songs alongside some new numbers, Blood Visions maintain their reputation for enthusiasm, depth and high volume in their brand of alternative guitar music. If feels like each instrument is fighting for centre stage. The guitar jitters then lets loose on some grungy chord progressions while the bass rumbles like an angry mob. The drums pound along with heavy cymbal use as the lead singer gives it his all, succeeding in being heard above the exhilerating noise of four dudes rocking the fudge out. The audience are left to enjoy the rest of the gig without their faces. For they have been blown off by Blood Visions and their short but sweet set.

Halo Halo

Halo Halo get up on stage armed with a banjo and a drum kit. What follows is a set that feels like a well calculated jam session with drum beats forever changing direction like a very windy day. But no one appears to be battling against the wind, trying to keep their fringe down. No! They are loving the tribal grooves that Halo Halo bash out, using their banjo and their drum kit proudly. Their sound is fun and free, changing and going where it wants. The set highlight comes in the form of a harmonica led tune that crops up near the end which finds the girl/boy duo harmonising with harmonicas! The eager beavers at the front of the crowd get into so much that they start coming up with synchronised dance routines. Halo Halo are brilliant brilliant.

Pheromoans come on looking like a group of dudes who want to have some fun. And boom! They do. Of course they rock the socks off the Slum Party party dudes and dudettes at the same time. They very much have a sound of their own. Ramshackle guitars twang alongside the loose instrumentation while the lead singer half sings, half rants about inaudible things. It may not seem like it, but it's a winning formula. It makes you want to pogo up and down then shake your arms around like you just don't care. Random hand percussional instruments also get a good shaking every now and then, but its the lazy surf guitar riffs that lick your ears and make a good impression. They know what they are doing and the set lasts for the right amount of time. Slum Party proves itself to be a perfect capsule of strange yet free music. Bring on the next one!


GIG HIGHLIGHT: When Blood Visions bassist Marvin bashed his head in on the microphone.


Want more from these bands? Visit:!/pages/BLOOD-VISIONS/145632718781508

Written by Jack Parker for Power Chord Music Blog. Photography by Jack Parker.YES!

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