NARCS, FIGHTING CARAVANS, MOUSES
Brudenell Social Club // Friday, July 8, 2016
What a line-up! What a night! What a way to mark the release of your second (pretty fucking great) album! NARCS throws a party like no other at the Brudenell Social Club and we got a bit messy helping celebrate.
As the first choppy chords of MOUSES glorious garage punk racket rattle out, the Games Room fills up with an eager crowd to get the party started from the get-go.
The Teesside duo are a joyous act to witness, barely contained on that small stage. Singer Steve contorts round his battered Les Paul, eking out jagged riffs as he howls into his wayward mic stand while drummer Nathan drives each fuzzy lo-fi gem forward with keen control.
These Mouses are far from quiet. There are plenty of pop hooks pushing through the chaos, peppering the abrasive tunes with enough classic surf-rock vibes to lose your shit to. Mouses are BAGS of fun, gleefully marrying melody and dissonance with no shits given. They are wild, weird and wonderful.
Up next are Leeds five-piece FIGHTING CARAVANS, suitably intense and incendiary with their brooding, bluesy alt-Americana noise. The musicianship displayed on stage is inspiring – soulful slide guitar one moment, thrashing punk rock the next – but most eyes are fixed on frontman Dan, who chooses to wear a matador outfit tonight.
Staring intently into the crowd, his unnerving presence prowling around the stage takes to the dance floor, sending beer flying as a mic stand gets cast aside and the audience parts to (unsuccessfully) avoid the wrath of a singer hellbent on getting up in people’s faces with the mean refrain “I fight dirty, if I fight at all” on their monster tune Tyrannosaur.
They’re taking part in the Futuresound competition this Friday, hoping to win a slot at Leeds Festival next month. Get yourselves along to the Wardrobe in Leeds and see why they need to be tearing up the BBC Introducing Stage or Festival Republic Stage in Bramham Park on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
NARCS are a force to be reckoned with. Their awesome new album A Thinking Animal is a is a visceral attack on political apathy, fuelled by indignation and frustration. Despite the barbed fury, tonight’s performance is packed with great vibes, as the band literally bounce off each other, grins confirming the off-the-scale fun being had on and off stage.
Clearly very proud of their new material, frontman Wilko and guitarist Joe head into the crowd to join the bouncing masses shouting along to all the tunes. Baring in mind their new album has been out for a matter of hours.
We spot A Thinking Animal’s producer Ed Heaton proudly fist-pumping along to the tight-as-hell post-hardcore wall of noise, sounding more urgent, more vital tonight. There’s hints of At The Drive In bursting through the melodies on more refrained tunes like Bullingdon Boys,
Whereas some politically-charged messages fall on deaf ears at gigs, but the sheer vemon being spat around the room during the wild slow-burner Head Boy Sonnet: “You’re wearing dead man’s shoes. Perfect fucking fit!” is sincerely captivating and pretty affirming.
An amazing night down at the Brudenell Social Club. It’s been a while since I’ve been that fired-up after watching three spectacular bands in a few hours of frenzied punk rock.