It's been a while since I last went to Some Weird Sin, the now long running and very cool club. It's now based at Nambucca at the other end of Holloway Road from where it began in the still empty Buffalo Bar. The chance to see what is the last UK show from Maid Of Ace's current European tour was certainly a good enough reason to get down there as I've wanted to see them play a regular club show as opposed to the Rebellion Festival.
First up were White Witches who are back after a bit of a hiatus. If, like me, you missed them first time round, they feature members (or is it a member) of Pink Grease and the singer who I think is called Rory is very much their focal point. He does the dislocation dance to the band's very now sounding death disco rumblings and sound like they should be trying to be the support band on the up-coming Inca Babies and Folk Devils tour or else play shows with Disco Inferno if they promote the reissue of their classic lost early 90's album In Debt with some live shows.
But back to what they sounded like. Well yes, Death Disco is back in fashion and as Rory went on about the need for a New Order, the guitars played some cool shapes that were almost as angular as his dance moves. It was dark and almost early goth on Had Time (or whatever that song was called). That was the first one where Rory jumped onto the dance floor to bust a few moves.
The best thing in the set was the song about being Sectioned. That had some good bits of mental anguish in it even if the music needed a bit of a polish to really work. They were soon telling us to Follow My Suggestions and I'm not sure that would actually be a good idea. If they could tighten it up enough, it might be a better idea as they were a little bit rough around the edges.
Singing about being So Original obviously doesn't make it so, especially when you are singing like you want to be Roger Daltrey circa Tommy while busting out your best David Bowie circa the Isolar tour dance moves over the death disco the band's playing. Still, it sort of worked and was certainly cool to watch. I also wouldn't mind hearing a properly produced and polished up version of the last song of the set. I think it was introduced as Take Me To Paris and was about the Swings & Roundabouts of life. If they can rehearse and play enough, White Witches could become a very cool band indeed.
Next on where Bad Nerves who played some very hyperactive college rock. Actually, they really should be playing every college that will let them have a gig. For me, they very quickly became a bit boring. The singer went on about how he Met you. I thought, who cares? He may have had some rapid Fun but more likely shot his lot prematurely as they seemed to be trying to play as quick as they could. They got a few people singing along to Bad Kid, granted, but they were getting very generic and had no songs that really stood out.
I'm afraid calling a song Dreck only tempts reviewers like me to wonder if they were self-describing their music as Dreck as it is certainly an appropriate description of a band that leaves no lasting impression on me even two days later. Wasted Day is another song title (or line in a song) that just makes me think it's more like a wasted 30 minutes spent watching Bad Nerves. That may be harsh but if you're under 25 and looking for a fun band to see, you may well like Bad Nerves. For me they didn't have enough to keep me interested.
After the break it was time for Maid Of Ace, the all-girl punk band from Hastings whose band name refers to the fact that they are all sisters whose initials are all ACE. Yes and not in a renaming everyone Ramone kind of way!! Way to go Mr and Mrs Elliott for your naming skills.
They opened with a good, primal blast of punk angst about some sort of Army with the sort of raw vocals that remind me of Babes In Toyland crossed with the angry end of The Runaways. They also sound so much better in a small enclosed space rather than out in the Blackpool sunshine as the enclosure adds to the music's power.
Boring attacks our ears to make sure we get away from them and let them do what they want a great angry blast of riot Grrl oi. Hollywood Rain keeps up the furious and the fury in the vocals. Damn, they sound tight and angry, ready to flatten anyone in the band's way. Disaster Of Noise blasts through the place like a raging amped-up Hole song from the Pretty on the Inside early raging years.
White, Red and White is the first slightly less-angry song and the shared vocals bring the angst level down a bit before things get ramped back up for Greed. This is another song about being fucking bored with the UK. Well the one thing I wasn't watching them was bored. Monster isn't an L7 cover but a raging angry song about a stone cold killer and you don't want to be on the wrong side of the rage as this monster needs locking up.
Not sure what was next in this blur of punk but as angry as the lyrics and music often were, they were also lots of fun and look like they are having a blast. Still, they were quickly singing about being On The Run. Not sure from what, but it was another song that you need to be moshing to.
I really liked the song telling us all Don't Fool With Me as these sisters are one hell of a tough little gang of road warriors. I have the next song down as What What and I'm sure that's the wrong title but it gives an indication of the rage at another lousy situation they need to get over.
They then did the title track from the current album Made In England. Yes, the album is Maid in England so close enough and a good statement of intent and how they see the world and the burning desire to go and get something better than a dead end job in a dead end town. Not sure what they closed the set with only that came with more searing guitars and raging vocals to leave us all wanting more.
Yes, they came back or well really didn't actually leave the stage but more than deserved the encore. That opened with a song that seems to be called Die and was, I believe, spitting rage at our politicians and hoping the stinking lot of them die. They closed with a great cover of We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Gonna use It's Rules And Regulations, which sounded a whole lot better than the last time I saw Fuzzbox play it live as Maids Of Ace bring a lot more punch to it. A good way to end a ragingly good fun set.
That only left time for the disco to get going and for things to get as messy as they ever do at Some Weird Sin. I will try not to leave it so long before I go again.