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.