Saturday, 29 October 2011
SubVersion Stop 144: Charlie Baxter + Space Heroes Of The People + Left Outer Join @ The Wheatsheaf, Wednesday 26th October 2011
Synth music: not a tough guy's exercise. There you are, toying with your keyboard, a post Roxy Music Eno when 3, 2, 1, you're in the 80s room with a floppy hairdo, and if lucky, several ladies in tow. Tonight's gig might be lacking some females, but one step at a time: that relationship is a situationist nag, like trying to teach Kevin the teenager math over fat raves with his mate Perry.
Right off the bat, Moshka's attendees have a feast for the ears. Left Outer Join, all hard Techno poise, keeps his live glow stick drumming setup and Roland machine locked over a swelling backdrop of progressive goa synth-lines. His music fails to threaten but there's particularly solid genesis with his mightily energetic performance. At points we're in proper proto-Drum & Bass vibes circa 90s T Power, scattered snares chipping away at your ears but always avoiding a screeching flow.
Space Heroes Of The People follow suit with a tumult of decayed synthetic fizz, then step up the trashy percussion and 4/4 rumble. Echoing melodic innocence from 80s post-punkers Propaganda, showing a varied palette that takes in Nu Rave and filters it through a ferris wheel of proportionate vocoder tidbits and pounding bass, rather like an autochanger from dull to cool, Tim Day's vocal effecting makes the natural timbre of voice seem second rate by comparison, squelchy bleeps adorning the mid section of the set alongside Jo Edge's distant double bass. The show droops and stirs like a malfunctioning feminist juggernaut, their set ending with a simple "thank you", affirming technology doesn't get in the way of heart when it's needed most.
"Oh my god it's Techno music" on his T-shirt: a gimmicky endorsement to Indie's fervour with Dance in recent times? But Charlie Baxter pulls it off with a mullet to spare. Kicking out a Ramones surf-punk guitar shuffle, the Jungle tempo yields high octane rhythm sections, powered with 'gimme adrenaline' lyrical phrases. He approaches a more giddy version of Pendulum with those neon synths and maximalist figures, but it all sounds coherent and lacking in cheese. These are purposeful tracks filled with vim, especially his white boy cover of "Play That Funky Music". Then he gets to gesturing the audience for what they had for dinner. "Maybe I should write a song about pizza" he muses. If it's as engaging as his new single, "Charlie Baxter's In My House", a runabout featuring Europe's "The Final Countdown", he'll be one to cook for in future. A stellar night all round.
Charlie Baxter: MySpace
Space Heroes Of The People: Facebook
Moshka on Nightshift forum