All entries for May 2009

May 05, 2009

Music Resolution 2009 – Fight Like Apes, Manchester Roadhouse, 1st March

Join me and my New Year’s Resolution to go to at least one gig every month of 2009.

I think it was the point at which MayKay, the teeny tiny singer of Irish loons Fight Like Apes, jumped over the front of the page, barged into the crowd, picked a victim, knocked him over and sat on him that I concluded that some bands are just too wonderful for words. Not that I am going to forgo words in favour of random wibbling for this report, you understand. It's more that on the night I could barely speak for the glee I was feeling.

I like the Roadhouse. It's small, there's loads of random pillars, tables, boxes and chairs all over the place, which means getting up close to the band is a great idea as seeing them is not actually possible from large portions of the venue. Of course, presented with this many objects, FLApes were always destined to utilise one or two... The funniest bit of the night was going into the loo to find the person in the other cubicle was doing some very professional sounding vocal warm ups. Yes, the charm of the Roadhouse is you can find yourself sharing banter in the bog with the singer of the main act. MayKay's lovely, for the record.

If you're not familiar with FLApes they are an indie-punk band with keyboards and no six stringers in sight. Oh, and they're barmy. Proper barmy in the way that only people raised in Ireland or by the Irish can be. It makes perfect sense to me, but can baffle the next person. This is what makes FLApes great, as does singing about characters from 'Saved By The Bell', the lending of faces, and plain toast. It could be boarderline irritating and quirky if it wasn't delivered with an intensity which could melt faces. It was no surprise that they covered (brilliantly) McLusky's 'Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues'.

But more than anything they perform. In no particular order the gig saw:

  • MayKay and keyboardist Pockets trying to knock each other out by fighting with chairs. It was never clarified if this was, indeed, fighting like apes.
  • MayKay's aforementioned audience invasion/molestation. Despite being tiny she appears to be irrestibly powerful.
  • General kleptomania from MayKay and Pockets, nicking things from the audience. These items included a rather nifty pair of flashing glasses.
  • Pockets trying to enthuse an initially slightly listless audience by muttering scarily at the them and doing scary stary eyes.

Energy is the key. Lots and lots of it. They have fantastic banter, and are masters of the abusive band/audience relationship, slagging everyone off for being torpid, then cracking out songs which it would be rude not to dance to. They even played the hilarious nine second wonder that is 'Megameanie' twice after it got the biggest cheer of the night. Who says indie kids don't like a bit of silliness?

Plus any band which repeatedly utilises the fantastic phrase “shit the bed” can’t go far wrong.

It’s debatable whether this sort of insanity could ever translate to larger venues. It’s a shame because FLApes are wonderful and deserve more coverage than they get. But at the same time would they be as intensely ace in a larger venue, where it’s harder to get into the audience to whack them about a bit, or rob them of their tacky possessions. Obviously the only way to find out for sure is if we unleash FLApes into a larger environment, so I strongly recommend everyone on here go down to your local record shop, or to (we’re still suspicious of amazon after the amazonfail of last month) and get FLApes’ album so they have lots of sale, have to play bigger venues and then I’ll report back. Unfortunately were they to play a bigger venue I doubt the gig would end as this one did – with more of the audience on the stage than off, and with me bashing everything non-human in sight with one of the discarded chairs being used as weapons earlier. It was all rather spiffing and exhilarating. Brilliant.

Four more reasons to love Fight Like Apes:

  • Their album is called Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion and this comes from an ‘A Team’ episode.
  • Their first EP was called ‘How Am I Supposed To Kill You If You Have All The Guns’.
  • Their second EP was called ‘David Carradine Is A Bounty Hunter Whose Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch.’
  • Their America only EP is called ‘'You Filled His Head With Fluffy Clouds And Jolly Ranchers. What Did You Think Was Going To Happen?'’.

Are these not excellent titles reasons?

May 03, 2009

Really Bad Posters #3 – Some Hearing Aid Company

I found this one down a back alley in Manchester city centre. This isn't as dodgy as it sounds. Honest. It's the same back alley which has Long Tall Sally in it, so you often find very tall or chunky women wandering down this alley, past the Pizza Express. As back alleys go it's very well heeled.

There's a shop there which deals, in some way, with hearing aids and the like. I don't even know what it's called, that's how little attention I usually pay it, but last year it had a new poster advertising a new hearing aid.


I think the message here is that the hearing aid is very small, like a dot, like a spot on a dalmatian. The "Can you spot the dot?" tag line seems to imply this. But surely a dalmatian isn't the best choice considering that they suffer, as a breed, from a relatively high incidence of deafness, a genetic by-product of the years of inbreeding needed create their breed. Is this advert playing on that? If so it seems a little cruel. At least in bats their deficient sense, sight, has been bred in naturally by the species themselves choosing to live where sight was less important.

This isn't a bad advert as such, it just baffles slightly.

May 01, 2009

Really Bad Posters #2 – Dove Anti–Perspirant

Now she uses Dove anti-perspirant she doesn’t get a prickly feeling in her armpits any more. That is the intended messsage. Unfortunately having her throw away a cactus which seems shaped suspiciously similarly to the average under-arm anti-perspirant roll-on means this poster appears to be implying that she was using the cactus as anti-perspirant.

Now I know Dove went through a phase of trying to aim its products at the average person, but surely the average person isn’t so dumb they’d use a cactus as anti-perspirant?

I could be overestimating the average person here.

I actually like this poster, I just think it’s really stupid at the same time.

May 2009

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