|Rock In Your Pocket/ Adding Machine/Jailcake/Squeeze Me Macaroni|
Louisiana, Bristol (Sat 23 June)
Squeeze Me Macaroni
A one-woman band, with plenty of digital support, Squeeze Me Macaroni is something of an enigma. The whole performance ranges from the extremely low key, through to the intensely powerful. At one stage during the short set, we’re offered a public apology for the set “not being Saturday night music”. In my opinion, this apology isn’t required. The combination of a haunting voice, mesmeric guitar loops and layers of sound make for a sound that’s part Kate Bush, part Muse and part your mate in the sixth form who plays guitar in his bedroom. For older readers, there’s even a hint of Gilli Smyth-era Gong. A great performance and it would have been good to hear more.
The guitarist’s T-shirt says it all. Is it possible to be a tribute band, but do your own songs? If you love Sonic Youth, then this band is for you. Technically very tight, with loads of noise, this is certainly a solid performance. It just seems a little too predictable. I can only assume this view is shared by the relatively famous singer standing near me who’s miming out the songs, power chords and all, as if to make the point. Will such spot-on miming improve their chances of a gig at the Fleece?
Now here’s a performance in the widest sense of the word. Adding Machine is usually a four-piece band, but due to commitments elsewhere, they’re a member down tonight. This leads to some role swaps during the set, which is interesting in itself, with the drummer coming out to play bass and relying on a technical response to provide the percussion at times. The singer sounds very much like Siouxsie Sioux and has the stage presence to match. The first song may or may not sound fuller with a fourth band member playing, but the combination of that voice, alongside a synth, drums and bass suggests early 80s Creatures. This post-punk feel seems to have been a deliberate decision by the band and is carried through the whole set. At times, the sound is reminiscent of the Sisters of the same time, as well as the synths suggesting a touch of the more trance aspects of bands like Hawkwind. However, don’t start thinking that this band is a copy of anything. The sound is really unique, the performance musically strong and the presence theatrical. A great band.
Rock In Your Pocket
These are the headline act, so why do so many people leave? A really tight band with a classic rock sound and presence, Rock in Your Pocket know how to do this stuff, and do it well. This band is loud and rocking, in a classic style that is based in the 70s sound of bands such as Rush, but they have the confidence to mix it up so that it feels really fresh. The version of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’, for which the band are joined by an unnamed special guest, is an excellent cover delivered in a way that’s inventive and thoroughly entertaining. Covers are great when bands add their own touches to them, and this was one example of a great cover. Overall, a really powerful and entertaining performance, despite the relatively small number of people who stay to watch until the end. (Graham Manson)
Copyright Graham Manson 2012; pics Matt Crush, www.crushimages.co.uk