The Brixton Windmill is famous for two things, firstly it has the worst sound in London and secondly there is a rabid dog running wild on the roof. I went along to watch my favourite band perform and had a few nice musical surprises along the way.
First up were EZIO TROT, a rag-tag mix bag of dickensian looking librarians complete with road-kill make up and crooked smiles. They play the kind of lo-fi clatter that The Velvet Underground made their name with but they do it in an incredible laid back fashion, guitars go out of tune, strings break and songs fall apart but the band don’t seem to care. They refuse to tune up and simply count off another song that sounds like The Strokes being honest and playing what they feel. Personally I though they were amazing, real honest music this….
Second on were THE VOXX and long before they play a note their cowboy boots and leather trousers have managed to clear the room. They look like ‘rock’ stars and they certainly have the haircuts but sadly there is no real conviction to what they do and it all just feels like a copy of a copy of Aerosmith but without the stage presence of Liv Tyler’s dad. Not sure I’ll be rushing out to see this band again….
Thirdly are the band I had really come to see, the awe-inspiring WHITE MAN KAMIKAZE who look like they are ready to burn the venue down. I have noticed that this band either play amazing or terrible shows depending on how they are feeling on that particular day. Today seems to be a good one as they tear into the opening song like an ICB missile, sweat flying and electric noise forcing itself upon the anxious crowd. A few perfect songs in and the drummer Jimmy and singer Marco exchange places for the now classic Robot Dogs, a wiry and edgy departure from the rage rock they play so well. I like the way that these two swap around, it is a novel idea and it genuinely works well, the crowd are confused and so they should be. Someone throws an apple, Jimmy catches it and takes a suspicious bite before throwing it back into the crowd. A quick swap back and the screaming angles of Kamikaze Uber Alles fill the room. When the noise and violence actually stops everyone wants more but sadly they don’t get it….
Finally THE ROCKS are up and immediately the singer is glaring at the soundman, dropping his guitar and stalking around the stage like an angry young Sherlock Holmes. The crowd love this band and seem to know all the words to the songs. The band appear to feel that they are above playing bad venues and most of the time it seems that they are just going to stop and leave the stage. Luckily they manage to remain up there and play a half hour of well-crafted indie-pop that makes the dancing begin in earnest. I think that this band could be massive, they look good, sound good and certainly have the tunes to pull it off. The gig ends with the singer reminding everyone to “come and see us when we get a proper gig”. I will certainly bear that thought in mind.