Photo by James Ryang for NY Times' Culture Blog, stolen from Last FM
I like The Lousiana (MySpace page here). The drinks are a little overpriced, and it's a bit out the way, but it's a great little pub and it gets some pretty impressive bands (Best Coast, The Strange Boys, and First Aid Kit have all played recently), so the train down from Cardiff was actually pretty exciting. Well, not the train itself. You know what I mean.
It was a pretty late running gig and the first band weren't on until around 8.45. Named Drunk Granny, they were someone I had never heard of before (despite the fact that they have links to Cardiff), and were made up of two women, one on guitar, the other drums, both providing vocals at some point. They played this really cool sounding riot grrl-ish short, fast-paced punk, with feminist inspired lyrics. Sometimes I wished that the songs would go on for a little longer, but I suppose that was also part of their charm. You should definitely check out their MySpace and go to see them live, unless you are a sexist bigot. You might not enjoy the show as much, in that case. You can also download a free song from Drunk Granny (with permission from the band themsleves, of course) below!
We decided to hang around upstairs to have a listen to the next band, but after about 30 seconds we changed our minds and thought it was probably best to retreat to a safe distance, back downstairs to the main bar area.
45 minutes passed and the noise stopped and it was time to climb the stairs once more. Lousiana was pretty busy, but we got towards the front where we found 4 or so middle aged balding men, oddly enough, who we were then amusingly told to push in front of by some guy touring with the band. "No seriously", he said after we chuckled. Anyway. The gig. Sleigh Bells (Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller) came on to lots of pre-recorded noise and bass-y drum beats. Derek rocked out (to a guitar backing tape, I think - as well as his actual guitar noises), and Alexis (dressed in what is best described as Vice Magazine's dream outfit...) jumped around and sang (also on top of a vocal backing track, I believe). It was all a little surreal and didn't feel much like a live show, but earplugs were most definitely necessary, which I suppose is a good sign. Alexis' vocals were quite impressive, and the heavy guitar riffs balanced nicely against the bass-y electro sounds to create their pretty unique sound, but live it just didn't seem to work that well and they lacked a certain something. Maybe a live drummer, or at least someone on stage controlling the synth? Who knows.
Regardless, the album is a delightful mash of electronica, rock, and even a little r'n'b and it most definitely deserves a Spotify.
Drunk Granny - Sasquatch