'You have got to give me a good review now because I've seen your dancing' is what Connor Hemming said to me by the bar in Reflex club Birmingham, at around 12:30ish AM. Rewind a few hours before and Connor's set was one of the most memorable I have seen in some time. Right now many people are amazed by the technical wizardry of Royal Blood's Jim Kerr, and his abilty to make the noise of 10 electric guitars out of one bass. Similar is Connor Hemming's ability to conjure an incredibly unhinged noise out of his acoustic guitar, filling the small venue with a barely coherent mess of punk rock noise. He managed this with no rhythm section, no drums or bass, just an acoustic guitar and two pedals. When those pedals started malfunctioning it only added to the awesomeness* of it all. His own songs were barely coherent enough to review, sort of half political folk troubadour, half punk rock hero. After a bit he asked if anyone liked Beck, cue cheers from the audience and swore, cos then he'd have to do the cover. He murdered** 'Loser' and also claimed that Peace are 'wank, although unsurprisingly, he loves Fat White Family***
Later on I asked him what he's so angry about, and even he doesn't seem so sure. Whatever he's so angry about though, made him a photographers dream, and I feel that anger has been captured in my pics. Afterwards I got the impression that he wasn't too happy with the show, but Connor at his worst is a lot more fun than most bands at their best.
B-Town Rating 6.8/10
* I typed rawness, and awesomeness came up on the spell-check, I felt that was an improvement on what I meant to write.
** His words.
By now I've seen Pink Violence a couple of times, the biggest surprise this time was that he'd bought two keyboards to use alongside his laptop. Though he barely used either of them. His new look is going anonymous, hidden under a large parka. Though his sound is the usual mix of Crystal Castles samples, hip hop bass and ethereal witchouse, all blended together to make an engrossing listen.
He finished the set by playing the Eastenders theme tune, walking out through a door on the side of the stage, and not reappearing for 10 minutes. As it was his birthday, me, him, Connor and Cassie all went clubbing. That's another story though.
B-Town Rating 6.4/10