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Review: 'Spilt, Numskull, Bouhinga (Koso)'
'Live at The Fiddler, Kilburn High Road'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '3.9.21.'

Our Rating:
Having got bored of staying in we decided on an old school Friday night out at a local music venue seeing 3 bands we'd never heard of, in the hopes of possibly discovering someone cool and new or just having an excuse to go and have some cider and listen to some loud music, while supporting what is currently the closest music venue within staggering distance of home, namely The Fiddler, that is the latest venue owned and run by music business legend Vince Powers who has been entertaining me now for about 36 years, or longer than any of the musicians playing this show have been alive.

The Fiddler is almost the same size as the old Mean Fiddler in Harlesden but without the balcony or western saloon vibe of that sadly long-lost club. On the walls are various old posters and a gold record given to Vince Power by Tanita Tikaram whose career started by playing the opening slot at the Mean Fiddler regularly, while making many peoples jaws drop at how great this shy unassuming girl in a business suit was, I saw her open for Jonathan Richman and knew inside about three songs she was going to be going places.

The first act on was one member of the Yangon Based musical collective Bouhinga who was playing solo with lots of effects boxes a laptop a guitar, sadly Koso appeared to be rather un-rehearsed and in bad need of being part of a band to make the dream-pop and shoegaze songs he was playing really work, he also needed to have his vocals drowning in the requisite amounts of reverb.

The one stand out song he had was the one dedicated to all of his fellow countrymen and women who have been caught up in all the violence in Myanmar in recent times, apparently we should have all raised three fingers for this song to signify the fight for freedom Democracy and Human Rights.

Next on were Numskull a young three-piece Hardcoreish punk band from Sussex who had come to crush our skull's with some hard riffs and a fun attitude to getting the small crowd going.

All song titles are guesses as they opened with a song that wondered what happens If I Die while sounding like they wanted to be a cross between Therapy? and Minutemen, and as they searched about in the gloom the singer started yelling at us telling us what they Say About You and it wasn't nice but it was showing some good potential.

They then played a very Extreme Noise Terror inspired tune that was about 15 or 20 second blast of nasty noise that made me smile.

They had a rather odd tune that was about going on a fishing trip with his mum with enough of a skull crushing riff to scare the fish out of the water. The bands latest single that came out on Friday was next the ode to mansplaining that is Men Talking About Women that had tongue in cheek lyrics and pummel your face in drums.

The 20 seconds or so of Vinyl sounded like they wanted to play it at 78 rather than 33 super speedy and lots of fun. What was introduced as being a Dance Song For Lovers was not 4 to the floor much more time to rip up the mosh pit and go for it.

They then played a rather long and pretty good cover of Black Flag's My War that has several breakdowns and odd turns, now the singer is no Rollins as he doesn't have the muscles or tatt's but they certainly had fun with it as it morphed at the end into Physical (You're So) to make sure they'd made an impact. I'd certainly like to see them again once they've played another 100 or so shows to really refine what they are aiming at.

Tonight's headliners Spilt had come all the way from Runcorn to play to the 30 or so people in the audience, this being the last night of the bands current UK tour, I'm guessing at the song titles that they didn't introduce as this reasonably stoned band get going with a song about War that got a good few people to start moshing too.

Sick & Tired could easily be about how we all feel post Covid and it had plenty of bouncy energy to ensure most of the venue was now in the mosh pit.

Fit had some fierce guitar mangling and the drums going off on one as we tried to make them out on the still gloomy stage, as no matter what they tried doing to the stage lights the spots that should have been on the band weren't working.

Acid Baby was drowning in too many drugs and not enough time to enjoy them, it was fast and frantic and they sounded and looked like they were having a great time. I guess the next song wasn't called Lager Longer but some of the audience may have had a lager or four too many for them as the mosh pit got good and messy.

They dedicated a song to the bands old Bass player that was introduced as Fuck Him! Yes it's bitter and twisted and they seemed to have moved on nicely as the current Bass player sat there really going for it with his long hair swinging.

Still Crazy was the cue for everyone on the dancefloor to indeed go crazy, well apart from the old git reviewer stood by the bar taking it all in. They dedicated a song to Someone and No One and well it's a fine bouncy pop punk song that could well get a far bigger crowd than this going.

They then chose not to play current single Sex Tape and instead closed with Cat Nip one more urgent bouncy rumble of young snotty punk that was enough to get a decent round of applause at the end of a reasonable nights music that I was far too ancient to be at.
  author: simonovitch

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