Das Wanderlust, The Bobby McGees, Euros Child, Emil Friis @ The Luminaire, Kilburn High Road, May 23
AS FAR as line-ups go tonight's is one of the stranger ones. Kicking off, or rather tapping off, with folksy guitarist Emil Friis, it all starts rather civilly...but quickly descends into the bonkers, riotous chaos that follows Das Wanderlust around.
Former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Child is up next, playing without his usual backing band. He's nervous, stuttering his way through drum machine programmes and absent mindedly counting his non-existent band in, but he's all the better for it. The tongue in cheek kookiness that made Gorkys so popular is there in abundance, with lots of keyboards and the funniest lyrics he's ever written. Tet a Tet ("With a squiggly bit over the 'e's and a nice bit of French keyboard") and Look At My Boots are utterly bonkers and have the audience in hysterics - he's Wales's very own Jeffrey Lewis. After being called back for an encore (a support act doing an encore!) the nautically themed Bobby McGees take to the stage in a shower of sweets, glow sticks and party poppers. They look ridiculous but a few songs in they let their gimmicks slip momentarily and hold their own. Eleanor Callaghan's beautiful, Isobel Campbell-esque voice harks back to the heady days of C86 indiepop, while Jimmy Cairney's hammed up Scottish vocals provide an anti-folk aside. Their boy meets girl, boy takes girl out to dance to Smiths records tales are as funny as they are cute.
The crowd suitably tweed up, Das Wanderlust take to the stage with singer Laura Simmons wearing a beard and cape over her trademark flowery dress. Before they've played a note she reads a piece announcing her departure from the band, saying the boys have demanded she becomes more marketable so they can get big enough to play with "The U2". The options they gave her, she says, are to become a sexy electro girl, a whimsical folk singer or a drug addled Winehouse-alike. But she shunned them to become The Wizard of Rock. Bonkers from the outset.
"My dad said we need more variety in our set," says guitarist Andy Elliot, "Which I think means we should play less fast, less twee and less rubbish." But that's what they do best. Dirty riffs, imposing jangly keyboards and Simmons's yelping vocals channel the DIY enthusiasm of Bis with the rackety oddball feel of Sparks. Simmons chatters and giggles her way through the set, coming across quite the cutesy indie girl - but when she opens her mouth to sing, rocking in to her keyboard, she becomes an entirely different person - think Poly Styrene in Laura Ashley.
Launching their album Horses For Courses, they wrap the night up with Sea Shanty which, they proudly announce, the NME described as "literally the worst thing they'd ever heard and annoying on an almost nuclear level" before giving it eight out of 10.Which just about sums up Das Wanderlust - they're so wrong they're very, very right. Silly,throw-away indiepop at its best - the perfect antidote to the straight faced electro and lad rock that's been clogging up our charts.