Chalet Lines (7.2/10) is the occasional solo project of Joe Parker. The occasional singer of Birmingham 'Sadcore' group Enquiry The last time I saw Chalet lines It was also at the Flapper. It was a few years ago now yet I remember enjoying his music but not particularly being that impressed by it. However two years have gone by and their is an obvious huge difference. This is partly down to a whole new set-up. While it might have been pretty funny watching him struggle with the complex looking keyboard and pedals, the guitar effects and backing drum sound gave the songs a new lease of life (or maybe he's just written better songs since then, I'm not sure). Chalet Lines evokes the same washed out, slightly psychedelic indie rock of Mac Demarco or Kurt Vile. The stripped back approach whether deliberate or not works in Joe's favour. what also works for Joe is how likeable and funny he is on-stage, even if only a handful of people have showed up. He's also got the best hair I've ever seen on anyone. ever.
Blank Parody (6) turned up with two less members than usual to play a sort of stripped back -not quite acoustic set. To be fair to them they gave it their all, performing their set with all the gusto and enthusiasm of a headline set. The small gathering of fans seemed to enjoy it a lot too. Unfortunately I feel that Blank Parody are just not really unique or raw enough for my taste. Blank Parody have the look and attitude to fit in alongside the likes of The Amazons and Circa Waves but lack a unique personality or sound of their own.
Next up was Last Light (6.8) a band who evoke the no nonsense emo of bands like Brand New or Taking Back Sunday. While they're not entirely original was impressed by their musical ability and their blend of melodic guitar sounds with heavy riffs. They took the lack of a decent audience well and joked a lot between songs, saying "don't all rush to the front at once! "and claiming that one of their songs is 'big in the teen Turkish Goth scene"
Birmingham's 'Grimecore' pioneers Crime and Punishment 2011's set this time was the last of their short 'weekender' tour. Unfortunately not many people had shown up for this Sunday night headline set but CPK still did their best despite their tiredness and delivered a full set. CPK's début album FUBAR is due out soon and it's self titled lead single is a good clue if where they're headed. It's a state of the nation address. The most explicitly political and straight up metal song they've produced so far. The slightly surreal production style of the earlier tracks seems to have given way to something much more straight forward and stripped back. As usual their set was marked by Joey Sniper climbing on every available surface to scream his throat out and roll around on the floor. Dan now has to rap both his and Glitch's old bars and has managed to do pretty well, even switching his own flow to suit Glitch's style. The addition of Sam on drums is also proving to work in their favour as many of their tracks now sound as if they'd been written with drums rather than just laptop beats. Another highlight was their cover of The Weeknd's 'The Hills' who "Joey thought was a band".
The whiny vocals of the original have been replaced by Joey's screaming and Dan's bars. CPK have done a good job of making it their own and I prefer their version to the original. While the novelty cover and stage banter gave out good vibes, the closing domestic violence tale 'Storms' brought the mood down massively. But still, respect to CPK for being as uncompromising and dark as they can be.