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Current Affairs @ The Lexington, London (Live Review)

  • Published in Live


Current Affairs

The Lexington, London

Words & pics by Captain Stavros


When a person will say something like, “I hate eggs”, it might not necessarily be the delicious egg’s fault, or the persons.  No, in fact the problem might be that they were force fed eggs at one time or another after politely declining a portion and ended up puking their fucking guts out, thereby associating eggs with putrid and curdy yellowish projectile vomit.  Not fun for anyone, to be fair.  Whilst growing up hearing the term, Current Affairs, which was almost always synonymous with prime-time news instead of sitcoms pushing the limits of their evangelical network censors, and thus dull.  Even though world events, as you enter adulthood (it’s a journey ‘til death or so we’re told), might leave a bad taste in your mouth, Current Affairs are still very much a part of everyday life that we’ve got to choke down.  Until now.  Enter, Current Affairs, band and disrupters of contemporary vernacular.

BBC 6’s Steve Lamacq lazily describes Glasgow/Berlin based C.A. as ‘gets better with every listen’, way to ring out every nuance out of it buddy, but we can’t say he’s wrong.  We caught their headline set, which built up some serious steam across their 11-song performance.  The band compares visually (on stage performers but especially their merch) and stylistically to a Lego project that’s had the instructions thrown out the window.  Clearly, it’s a mishmash of rogue components, but maybe it works even better having gone off script?  The members were drawn into each others orbits, solidified and cooled, with their present four-piece line-up in 2020.

Watching bands set up is a uniform, yet unique experience, case in point drummer, Andrew Milk (of We Are Shopping who are also fucking excellent) removing and refitting their shoes.  Repeatedly.  Rocking a homebrew T with DICKS FROM TEXAS plastered all over it bedazzled in stars.  Lucky ritual or neurosis, what's the difference?  The rest of the gang lurked about on the dimly lit stage setting up.  In the periphery, polka dot wunderkind Gemma ‘where does my shirt stop and polka dot bass start?’, caught our eye.  Nifty!  Everyone and their dog has been describing Joan Sweeney’s vocals as the re-incarnation of Siouxsie and the Banshees.  We were adamant that we’d avoid that pitfall but (Butts!) when the set kicked off with ‘Riled’ roaring out it was undeniable, she is Siouxsie Sioux re-incarnate.  If anyone says otherwise, grab’em by the legs, and throw them down the stairs.

Just shy of halfway through their set, ‘Cahoots’ pitches both punchy beats, up from a melancholic start, and cheesy banter between the members lead by, you guessed it, Andrew Milk.  He really got fixed on the dual pressure climates on stage, hot lights vs A/C, there were no takers and audience seemed befuddled.  We, however, were impressed with the off the cuff commentary, let the record show.  ‘Casual Radicals’ borrowed its distinct wavy guitar sounds from The Orielles with some really approachable warm vibes.  ‘No Fuss’ and ‘Reactor’ were our set faves for different reasons.  The former was a really well put together and solid song, the rehearsals came across on this one.  The latter and their latest single, before releasing their latest album in July, Off The Tongue, ‘Reactor’ was a crowd favourite with huge energy that got everyone moving.  We imagine that was the intent and the plan went off seamlessly.

By the time you read this review, you’ll be sad to hear that the band will have finished this leg of touring, so you won’t have an opportunity to form your own opinion on Current Affairs live performance, yet.  Never fear, that’s our job though, just take our word for it blindly!  You can add them on your socials and stream their jangly and nostalgic for the ‘80s noir wave goodness in the meantime.  We’d recommend also picking up some psychedelic merch as an artefact to live on through the ages though, it’s super unique and collage-y.  We’ll sign off here but not before mentioning something we caught in the press blurbs, Gemma’s mantra – “Everyone’s welcome, but don’t get it twisted”. True say.



Pigeon Wigs @ The Lexington (Live Review)

  • Published in Live

Pigeon Wigs 

The Lexington, London 

Words & Pics by Captain Stavros 

As long ago as Ancient Greece, when marble statues were mercilessly pelted and festooned in guano, or even as early as last week when a wretched sky-rat flew into my face leaving me with a rash across half of it, Columba Livia Forma Domestica, commonly known as the Pigeon, has been in desperate need of re-branding. Too long has this menace plagued our already congested pavements by refusing flight in lieu of walking. We put it to you that no longer will this archaic avian be recognizable or even stand in your way only to explode upon your person in spontaneous flight, for they have been given a new platform to spread their heinous wings on. Well, rather more of a stage we should say. Not long until before us would be standing, unrecognizable in their newly made-over forms, Pigeon Wigs, in all their featherless disguised glory. 

Once upon a time on a continent far-far away, a morbid wax-like beast stood before a podium pontificating in bellow 'we're going to drain the swamp'. Muso’s, of course, was suspicious of said claims. However, many swamp filled years later, something did emerge creeping out just beyond the mucky waterline. On the still moist banks of Cardiff’s Splott Beach, if you squinted just right through the early morning mists a six-piece (labelled and pictured as a five-piece) incongruous mixture of musicians did appear,heralded by their pleasing audio/visual repertoire they leave a distinct impression on the mind. We had to see if this held up live for ourselves. 

One week later, we would find ourselves bending an elbow against a disused piano (arguably still in use as a human propping device) near a picture window at The Lexington in the dwindling summer’s light, we anxiously waited to see if we’d made the press list to review the gig. The winds were in our favour, for soon standing before us were Harry, Louis, Bailey, Tom and Erin setting up for their nine-song set with ‘Near The Knuckles’ as the opener. A great introduction of rolling rhythms through backwoods rock with huge sound and killer licks, proportionally an explosive a mixture the likes of which would put the deadly combo of Mentos and Diet Coke to shame. 

Noteworthy set highlights were ‘Paper Tiger’, for its solos that resembled an overfilled-untied-balloon being let loose on a devastating and unpredictable trajectory rather than a planned event. Harry’s singing style which consisted of a yawning chasm prominently displaying wiggling uvula and expelling great winds from places unknown rather than a mouth hole that bellowed out song. Louis’s ‘Cardiff Girls Do It Better’ T-shirt drew our attention but not as much as his wild auto wah-wah pedal that cranked ‘Hold-Up’ to life. By this juncture, everyone from the back had pressed their way to the front of the stage, and rightfully so. 

The freshly baptised audience stood piously stage side, by way of Bailey’s Jazzy drum solo’s, Tom’s relentless rhythms and Erin’s bodacious and legendary bass which legend has it can flatline a man at 10 yards, were all whoops and holler rounding the end of the set out. ‘Death of a King’ was our set favourite tune of the evening followed by ‘Flo-Sister’. The former had a great dynamic range and wildly appealing opening riff, the latter a honky tonk vibe that sent the high-hat jumping like a dog on a trampoline. Pigeon Wigs has a new single out, ‘Radiation Blues’ which did not disappoint, and will also be touring in July and August around the UK solely for altruistic reasons, mainly to prevent you from feeling too bummed out from missing a fantastic fuzz-filled set Chez Lexington.


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