Review: Psykick Dancehall, Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London

The Pleasure Unit turns out to be a venue much like the late, lamented (by some, at least) Verge, in Kentish Town: We get one room with a stage in the corner with a big pillar in the way, and nowhere to escape from the bands if they turn out to be a pile of shite. Rather unfortunately at least one band achieves this dubious honour tonight.

First up are the Delphian Complex who have free CDs, nice ones too that have been made and produced in a proper place, so god knows how come they’re free. They also have some really cool flyers produced in a particularly simple way, so simple it makes me jealous, frankly. There are six of them: two guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and singer. My initial reaction is one of dislike but by the end of the evening (well, come the last band) I am reassessing. They manage to sound kind of like a Led Zep-tinged baggy band, with ‘modern’ 80s retro stomp-drumbeat thing going. That probably sounds worse than it should because it’s not that they’re bad, simply quite bland. Their songs don’t stand out, though the bassist does his best to lift the proceedings, and it takes me a while before I realise that my problem is with the full-on nature of what they’re doing: We are given no space at all in the sound and at least one guitar seems utterly superfluous. I have a problem with a band putting too much ‘production’ into their live sound and that’s what I hear here.

The Faculty organised the night and have elected for the second slot. This is the second time I’ve seen them and the sound’s not as good here as in the Spice of Life in Soho. Still, they put in a good performance and the atmosphere is much better. Sombre Honeymoon’s driving bassline is still running through my head as I type. They are best described as having a bass and drum sound in the Joy Division mould, vocals tinged with early Bob Dylan and guitars reminiscent of Verve’s ‘A Storm in Heaven’. The songs are simple yet catchy, mainly helped by the quality of musicianship the whole band put in: witness the drums in the break of ‘Messages’. It’s a good set and we enjoy it.

Next up are a band whose name I’m not sure of. On line they’re listed as ‘The Smoke’, but the board outside seemed to say something like Lontine Love. Who knows? ([b]EDIT:[/b] ISTD member ‘jeane enaej’ knows it seems: They were called [i]Larrikin Love[/i]. Cheers.) The fact is they are unmitigated shite, so much so that I find them offensive. This is what happens when you form a band after only having watched TOTP2 as your sole musical inspiration and input: Three of your band members wear porkpie hats and look like extras from Only Fools and Horses, complete with crap polo shirts. The fourth member (lead guitar) decides he wants to be in the Small Faces and grows an outlandishly terrible mop-like mullet and then hangs his guitar far enough up his chest in the hope of hiding his gut, while in reality meaning his guitar just looks ridiculously high. He then prances around with one foot on the tiny monitor and plays the most obvious guitar solos known to man. Someone describes them as a like “the Libertine’s arsehole” and this is probably a fair description. In fact, if one took the worst of The Libertines and The Darkness and combined them into one band you would have this lot. Amazingly (or not, depending on how you view the industry) there are three labels down tonight to watch them, and probably they’ve now been given a big fat record deal. We can only remind ourselves that musical karma has provided a nice deal to the rather fine Test-Icicles in recent months so it’s not all completely shit. Is it?

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54 Responses to Review: Psykick Dancehall, Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London

  1. Anonymous says:

    it wasn’t the smoke last night, it was a band called ‘larrikin love’ (or something). the smoke are really quite good – it was a shame they had to pull out….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cheers! I have added an edit accordingly.

    TheoGB
    http://theogb.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    the whole point about being in the right place at the right time is a bit tedious, isn’t it? you can say that about nearly any band.

    we’ve got no problem with people listening to dire sraits or whoever – the music bit of this site probably isn’t for you, that’s all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    who is TGR? everyone is entitled to their own view like, nee bother. i really am not bothered. we obvious touched a nerve with you though. i find that quite horny. viva le fac!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I missed the fight! I must admit to being a little bit annoyed over missing it, but was told it didn’t get too serious. I’m loving the comments about the ‘pork-pie’ hats! Quality.

    First of all, useful critisism all round. Reviews will always be slightly subjective, I guess. I’m pretty sure none of the other Delphs have posted anything here, but if they have, we’ve all got different opinions, so hey. Usually, they spout out a load of crap, so don’t listen to them. They like green-bowls, embroidery and eating scones and all that.

    I really enjoyed the night, as a matter of fact, and so did pretty much everyone else I spoke to. Cheers to the Fac for sorting it out. I got the impression that all the bands had a bit of a struggle on their hands due to the poor sound quality on-stage. The sound off-stage really did seem a lot better than it did on-stage.

    As for the bands, I’m not gonna say too much. Our set had ups and downs, but hopefully mostly ups. Some people liked it – some people didn’t – I think we’re used to that now. The Fac had a really polished sounding set, and seemed to do well. I spent most of the time getting drunk/staring at some of the hotties in there. I actually enjoyed watching the last band for the first 10mins, even through they were a bit tiresome. Probably wouldn’t rush to see them again, though.

    ps – I did wonder why someone was handing out loads of flyers with ISHOTTHEDEPUTY.COM scrawled on the back. Now I know why 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    I missed the fight! I must admit to being a little bit annoyed over missing it, but was told it didn’t get too serious. I’m loving the comments about the ‘pork-pie’ hats! Quality.

    First of all, useful critisism all round. Reviews will always be slightly subjective, I guess. I’m pretty sure none of the other Delphs have posted anything here, but if they have, we’ve all got different opinions, so hey. Usually, they spout out a load of crap, so don’t listen to them. They like green-bowls, embroidery and eating scones and all that.

    I really enjoyed the night, as a matter of fact, and so did pretty much everyone else I spoke to. Cheers to the Fac for sorting it out. I got the impression that all the bands had a bit of a struggle on their hands due to the poor sound quality on-stage. The sound off-stage really did seem a lot better than it did on-stage.

    As for the bands, I’m not gonna say too much. Our set had ups and downs, but hopefully mostly ups. Some people liked it – some people didn’t – I think we’re used to that now. The Fac had a really polished sounding set, and seemed to do well. I spent most of the time getting drunk/staring at some of the hotties in there. I actually enjoyed watching the last band for the first 10mins, even through they were a bit tiresome. Probably wouldn’t rush to see them again, though.

    ps – I did wonder why someone was handing out loads of flyers with ISHOTTHEDEPUTY.COM scrawled on the back. Now I know why 🙂

    Joe
    http://www.thedelphiancomplex.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    I like the review, as i like all the comments. It’s nice to hear some honest, unbiased opinions.

    As for the insinuation that one of us went on here to bemoan the opening review and big ourselves up…we’re not that sensitive and know our “shortfalls” so can’t see any of us really getting that upset…plus (Miss Marple bit here) we were all busy in rehearsal Sunday night and (as yet) the barn we practise in doesn’t have an internet connection…

    Just wanna say thanks to The Fac guys for sorting it out. Had a top night and enjoyed your set. Thought it sounded a lot different from what I remember the last time I saw you about a year ago, some really good sounds and ideas, and I agree with an earlier comment, one really great bassline. Look forward to the next one.

    Ah, Larikin Love. Kids today hey! Good fun…I especially liked their cover of Jet’s “Are you gonna be my Girl”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    hey delphs, think that might have been me that pointed a finger *scratches head* but i got really confused as usual. my head isnt what i used to be. i thought it couldnt have been youse , but after the events of the night my head werent in the right place. so i apologise for pointed a random finger. theo spanked me as soon as i thought that. (see above).. i had a really good night apart from the toilet fiasco. eventhough it is quite amusing when you look back at it.
    i have sent your cd to kav, re: the getloaded thing, so will let you know when he gets back to me. he takes ages, but he does eventually get back! let us know when your next gig weekend gig is ….
    you’ll love this – i got this girls number on the night (smooth operator) and text her the other night. turns out she is friends with the larrikin love.. so funny as i started asking questions and she basically told me to fuck off and that the larrikin kicked up a stink ‘as a matter of pride’… ha, thought that was genius.
    see you all soon, nick fac.

  9. Anonymous says:

    so it probably wasn’t someone from the Delphian Complex who spouted that crap – i take that back.

    presumably it was just some very keen fan. either way, whoever it was was chatting complete shite. the review was pretty much spot on.

  10. Anonymous says:

    ….that Larrkin love were awful – as a band and as people – the delphs and the faculty were decent live and seemed liked nice sorts and this review reflects a realistic picture of the night – apart from being far too lenient with those west london wankers

  11. Anonymous says:

    they fucking rule. at least, unlike the libertines, the others, babyshambles etc, they haven’t tried to make crack cool.

  12. Anonymous says:

    i think you will find that larkin love are a very good band with a very individual vibe. you dont find that with many bands and i think you have forgoten to give them credit for their music, insted you are negitivly looking at who they are. the only reason that you have given them a review like that is because you personaly did not get on with them. As the night of their gig it seemed that there was alot of male pride at stake. apreciate the music and the musicans instead of if you want to be best buds with them or not. i could be wrong but it is ‘about the music’ rite or wrong?
    Respect the musicans…not your ego.

  13. Anonymous says:

    As one of the larrikins i wish to apologise about the row that occured on that night, but seem to have touched a few nerves. Firstly thanks to nic for putting on the night, and once again sorry. Secondly to the rest of you mugs who slated us, I think you want to spend more time broadening your tiny minds rather than spending all your time posting comments about bands you’d probably never be good enough to play with.
    Alf larrikin.
    Oh yeah, dancehall, if you want to put us in a bag and throw us in the river , maybe you want to come and say that to me in person, as I live right near the Thames and I’d like to see you try pal.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well cheers for the review guys but thats a bit rich comming from people that worship old pete d as their god, you see the funny thing is most of this band despises the libs and unlike all you mugs we actuly have lives that dont revolve around posting chopsy reviews on some next web site. Any way the point is keep it comming guys cause its just bare jokes how dry you guys are, oh yeah and if your free on friday come to the rose of lee in lewishan. I love every single one of you special little children and dont worry daddy still loves you even if he’s not around any more, love michael.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never met them but they could be top blokes. Would you rather I was on here ‘bigging up’ my mates despite NOT liking their music.

    No, I found their music terrible and didn’t like any of it. They way they looked just added to it, but I’ve seen bands who I thought looked terrible on stage but actually enjoyed the music. When I saw Jarcrew take to the stage I was expecting them to sound awful but actually it turned out they were fantastic.

    TheoGB
    http://theogb.com

  16. Anonymous says:

    Pete Docherty is a twat and I generally feel the Libertines are shit. So are The Darkness.

    I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    But I thought Larrikin Love were worse than the Libertines.

    I like bands such as: Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Mclusky, Nirvana, Radiohead, Blur, Shellac, Slint, etc. hence the Libs aren’t my sort of thing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Feel free to rip the piss or whatever, mate:

    http://mokita.net/music.htm
    http://evenifwefail.com/music.htm

    Theo

  18. Anonymous says:

    fair enough if you didnt like the music. But that can be stated in a creative and mature manner. ‘matter of pride’ is the arogant Dj who started the comotion in the first place by calling them “cunts”
    call me biast but ive been to many of Larrikin loves gigs and all have been full of livley, dancing, happy people. obviously that venue had the wrong crowd. a bad crowd shows on the energy of the music its true of all musicans.
    if some one calls you a “cunt” obviously you would like to know why, but too much ego on the djs side and curiousity on larrikins side created shananigans…
    funnily enough at the end of that night i thought the matter was sorted matturely and forgiven and forgoten.
    but obviously… its sad to hear and say its not.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “Creative and mature manner”?

    No, really, I actually found them offensively bad – offensive to my senses. Maybe you don’t find that but there are some acts who just press all the wrong buttons, who just make you angry with their sheer badness. Like Embrace.

    What I said was an honest summing up of my feelings.

    TheoGB
    http://theogb.com

  20. Anonymous says:

    since when did anyone have to “creatively” say something was shit. fair enough if you think people are being simplistic, and they should elaborate a bit – but i think asking people to be “creative” in their evaluation is a bit much…

  21. Anonymous says:

    don’t you love it when people can’t handle criticism and get all scary and loud and hit things?

    me neither.

    not everything is for everyone… wait, that’s far too democratic…

    honestly?

    80% of what is out there is total shite! literature, music, film. it’s called over-saturation: everyone wants to be an artist.

    to be honest LL, you were probably horribly average, and i feel safe in this assumption.

    however, please feel free to prove me wrong, (i haven’t heard anything exciting for quite a while) but please refrain from the monkey talk.

    and theo, i take it they were your bands you linked? i like the sound of mokita. this is a lazy comparison i know, but they sound like a cross between wormhole and blur; works for me 😉

    any local dates in the near future?

  22. Anonymous says:

    At the risk of resurrecting this one again! Yes, they are my bands. Mokita are playing the 333 on 23rd. Cheers for the comparison, mad though it sounds! Heh heh.

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com
    http://theogb.com

  23. Anonymous says:

    uz ut! tom o

  24. Anonymous says:

    No mentiritas, da de beres cabrons.

    Larrikins have got soul and spirit and thats that you girls

    Ciao

    M Smoke – Mexico city

  25. Anonymous says:

    Let’s look at it this way:
    YOU didn’t like the music. Doesn’t make it crap, does it? It just means YOU don’t like it.
    YOU didn’t like the way they looked. Doesn’t mean they should stop looking like that, does it? It just means YOU didn’t like it.
    YOU thought they were cunts, yet YOU don’t even know them.
    And seeing as you seem to love assumptions, I assume that you are a wanker, a bad journalist (that word used in the loosest way possible), a ponce, a general idiot, deaf, blind, mentally subnormal and most importantly, a shallow, arsey little narcissist.

    Regards,
    Minor.

    P.S. You cunt.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Clearly I upset you. Given what you’ve said, I am happy to have done so.

    I wrote some other stuff but I deleted it: the inaccuracy and lack of understanding shown in your rant makes it clear it would be pointless to refute your claims.

    Cheers

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com
    http://theogb.com

  27. Anonymous says:

    OK, lets have a look at some examples of the word inaccuracy:

    “This is what happens when you form a band after only having watched TOTP2 as your sole musical inspiration and input”
    Inaccurate.

    “The fourth member (lead guitar) decides he wants to be in the Small Faces and grows an outlandishly terrible mop-like mullet and then hangs his guitar far enough up his chest in the hope of hiding his gut”
    Oh, inaccurate.

    “If one took the worst of The Libertines and The Darkness and combined them into one band you would have this lot.”
    Yet again, inaccurate.

  28. Anonymous says:

    For god’s sake, if you really have to enter a pissing contest:

    [quote]YOU didn’t like the music. Doesn’t make it crap, does it? It just means YOU don’t like it.[/quote]
    Explain to me how your opinion is objective? Because clearly you feel is is while mine isn’t. You see a review IS a subjective thing. This is what you have failed to understand, hence yes, it DOES make the music crap IN MY OPINION. But the last three words of that sentence are implicit. Perhaps you need to find a review site where the reviewer puts ‘in my opinion’ after everything they write?

    [quote]YOU didn’t like the way they looked. Doesn’t mean they should stop looking like that, does it? It just means YOU didn’t like it.[/quote]
    No, but see above. It’s a review and it’s opinion. Personally I thought they looked terrible, but hey, if I’d liked the music I’d STILL have said I thought they looked terrible. There’s nothing actually wrong with having an opinion about how a band dresses, particuarly when ‘fashion rock’ seems to be back and isn’t something I have a particular affinity for. Nor is it something this site has a particular affinity for.

    [quote]YOU thought they were cunts, yet YOU don’t even know them.[/quote]
    No actually you can’t read because if you could you’d notice that didn’t ever once say that. THAT is inaccuracy.

    Your comments above about my supposed inaccuracy simply go to prove that you don’t realise there’s a big difference between how something SEEMS compared to what you personally (may) know. Did the lead guitarist sport the classic 70’s rough mullet popularised by bands like the Small Faces? Yes he did. Did the band play songs that sounded like they hadn’t moved on since the 70s (TOTP2’s main area of ‘gold’)? Yes they did.

    Does what I say therefore conjure up the required imagery in someone’s mind? Yes, I think it does.

    Finally, and most importantly, the place where your inaccuracy was strongest was in referring to me as any form of journalist, and all that implied about your misunderstanding of this site: It is not a site peopled by journalists, or if it is, they are doing this in their spare time. The content of this site is provided by people who write about things they want to write about. If you’d bothered to briefly read over the site’s content you would have discovered a clear political stance combined with a strongly partisan view of music – a liking of certain types of music over others.

    If you want a flat ‘objective’ view of music try Q or (increasingly these days) Drowned in Sound. It’s not something we here particularly like. If you want an aggressive ‘company line’ attitude to music, where the good and the bad are separated based on qualities that are as much about fashion and who you’re going out with, you can read the NME.

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com
    http://theogb.com

  29. Anonymous says:

    Touché

  30. Anonymous says:

    How about, you, shut up.

  31. Anonymous says:

    hmm this discussion’s clearly over but i thought id have the final word (dont you just love it). I saw larrikin love for the first time last thursday (12th May) and i had a fucking brilliant time dancing around having a brew and not taking myself or my fellow audience members too seriously (not some of you uptight wankers who’ve still been posting comments on a gig you must of already forgotten-because you claim they were that bad) . Looking at your review of the night uve all been bitching about i assume they must of moved on a bit (although listening to theoGb’s ‘even if we fail’ it was obviously a matter of taste) ..they managed to show their wide range of influences brilliantly with a ska, funk-ish, bluegrass!(YEAH),and calypso style tune… nowere did i see any of this TOTP2 bollocks. Also this isistence of commenting on their style(maybe you should have a word with the wasta theo) and labeling them as the libertines arsehole puts u in the same league as the NME that u claim to despise..This whole review site is a top idea but i think some of the ‘official’ reviewers/webmasters should take a back seat and allow the discussion to go instead of being at the center of attention. Obviously music comes down to personal taste but im of the opinion that any band that have created this much anger and passion have gotta be a slight better then the other two bands who have seemed to evoke the emotion of ‘O.K’. For every person who hates Larrikin love( for stylistic reasons, that they’re from west london-sorry uve gotta be from saaarf london to be taken seriously) theres just as many who clearly love em… the NME itself, Xfm, the record label thats indepently releasing there single at some point in the near future, and me-clearly as im writing this.
    lots of hugs and kisses
    from
    Perry’westisbest’Smith
    p.s the guitarist is as skinny as a fucking rake and played his guitar in a sensible position-were you actually thier TheoGB Oh Righteous One.
    xxx

  32. Anonymous says:

    [quote=]p.s the guitarist is as skinny as a fucking rake and played his guitar in a sensible position-were you actually thier TheoGB Oh Righteous One.
    xxx[/quote]
    (It is of course tempting to take your above comment literally and point out I’m certainly not [i]their[/i] TheoGB, nor am I anyone’s, but I digress…)

    It’s a peculiar comment, though: You clearly weren’t at the gig I was at yet you profess to know what I saw. Surely it depends on your idea of ‘sensible’ in any case and yes, he looked to have a beer belly to me. Maybe he’s been on a diet in the six or so months since I wrote this, oh righteous hypocrite?

    I commented on their style mainly because I felt everything they were about suggested a falseness, that they were playing up to some sort of fashion-based ideal that was exactly the sort of thing the NME have been handing down.

    Note quite sure what your point here is:
    [quote]This whole review site is a top idea but i think some of the ‘official’ reviewers/webmasters should take a back seat and allow the discussion to go instead of being at the center of attention.[/quote]
    Are you suggesting that I should review but not actually make any comments to any of the comments made on that review? If so, it’s a ridiculous suggestion. Maybe you’d rather all reviews were bland readings of events: “The first band are a XXXXX sort of band. They play well and are called XXXXX. The second band are a XXXX sort of band. They play well and are called XXXXX. Etc.”?

    TheoGB
    webmaster@ishotthedeputy.com

  33. Anonymous says:

    “im of the opinion that any band that have created this much anger and passion have gotta be a slight better then the other two bands”

    We’re talking about literally ONE person who’s kept this argument going for this long, later to be seconded by another. that’s all.

    p.s. “my guitarist is skinnier than your guitarist…” grow up.

    nm

  34. Anonymous says:

    Well, I saw them at the Elbow Room last Thursday, I was there to see the mighty Soledad Brothers. I hadn’t realised that they weren’t going to start til gone midnight, and having had the advertised support act, Soledad’s friend Mr David Viner, I was very much in the mood for getting the evening over with and finding my (after tube hours) way home and was a bit pissed off to see yet another band taking the stage who clearly weren’t the Soledads. But despite having already spent 4 hours in the venue, being tired and a long way from home, Larrikin Love won me over. I thought they were very good. So I respectfully submit that either a) they have improved a great deal since this review was written, which would suggest that it’s worth giving people a chance; or b) it’s all a matter of opinion. So there you go.

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is true. They could have got better. If I see them again I will see, though I think it’s doubtful they will have become my sort of band. It wasn’t that they were bad players, they just played music I really didn’t like and they played it with a style and attitude I really didn’t appreciate.

    I think the thing is I wrote a review of the how three bands were on one night 4 months ago. This story keeps coming back, which is interesting, but the time lag now makes random comments against it seem increasingly more ludicrous.

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com
    http://theogb.com

  36. Anonymous says:

    Try applying actual logic so you don’t look such an idiot?

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com
    http://theogb.com

  37. Anonymous says:

    LARRIKIN LOVE: Fresh from shows with fellow Transgressive exponents and media darlings Mystery Jets and The Young Knives, this vital, thrilling new London foursome take in all of ska, Irish jiggery, white-boy reggae and Libs-y agit-pop, yet meld it in a vacuum of charisma, honesty and poetic home truths that so very few could match. Frontman Edward Larrikin is one of the great British frontmen of our age, and will convert you. Their debut single ‘Six Queens’ (a John Kennedy/Xfm and ‘NME’ Stereo fave) is out this week via the esteemed Young & Lost Club………..FOOL

  38. Anonymous says:

    the mighty Larrikin Love release their brilliant AA side single-‘little boy lost’,’six queens’on Monday the 20th June-go buy it and see what all the fuss is about…..its quite funny really hahaha

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