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Julie Christmas @ The Garage, London (Live review) Featured

  • Written by  Captain Stavros

 Julie Christmas

 @ The Garage

Words & Pics by Captain Stavros

 Julie Christmas gave her fans the gift of music earlier this month when releasing her second solo album, Ridiculous and Full of Blood; great title. Jules says of the album, ‘get this in your ears and try to do anything slow and relaxed, you won’t be able to.’ Challenge accepted. ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Thin Skin’ both did seem like two songs, when listened to with over-ear headphones, that would cause an eruptive mosh pit for certain. We’d find out soon enough if they’d cut the metallic mustard as J and the Gang were playing their headline show at the Garage before carrying on a string of other live dates across the UK and EU.

Showing up to the gig in khakis, a Hawaiian shirt and white sneakers, pressed against the metal barriers at the stage amongst a crowd clad in worn out dark denim, fishnets, docs and sleeveless shirts, was a bit awkward. For sure, our sweet threads would be soiled and destroyed beyond recognition come the end of the night; fashion actions have consequences, kids! Although, not in this case. From our gig notes, we’ve underlined heavy and slow but not in a Black Sabbath Into The Void sorta way, but more ‘I’ve had too much to eat at the Mexican buffet, and I’m now having trouble breathing, and there’re pins and needles in my arms and legs’ sorta way. Was this a metal gig or a slumber party in a library!? The set lumbered along like a wad of refried beans through our lower intestine, that is to say, seemingly not at all.

J Chrizbo eventually followed out her band to a sparsely filled venue looking somewhat like Harley Quinn tangled with (pun intended) a fibre optic server. Masked and covered in fairy lights, touting heavily processed vocals backed by a kickdrum we could feel in our chest, music pounded out from the speakers. As each track continued however, the novelty wore off, Jules even gave up on wearing the mask and we, as an audience, collectively just gave up. Everyone was super polite about it though. The book tucked into the waistband of our trousers called to us as we yearned for any sort of stimulus but instead, we just kept on listening half-heartedly.

In front of us, on the other side of the barrier, was a child standing with her mother. Her mother was controlling the optic lights on J’s costume via BT Remote, real clandestine stuff. The kid in flip-flops, denim shorts and pink t-shirt must’ve gotten the Muso’s Guide ‘How To’ on proper attire for a summer gig. Wearing massive ear defenders, she scrolled Instagram updating her stories, selfie camera only. Either the show was boring, or we had the attention span of a 10 year old. Not even the lyrics of ‘Not Enough’, “I’ve not yet begun to defile myself” were enough to snap either of us out of our trance.

There were some redeeming qualities to the show like the synth samples, the guitarist’s guttural vocals sounding like a man possessed, and being able to leave the venue without so much as bumping into someone on your way out, our unscathed sneakers still gleaming. We were hoping for a little more Nova Twins and a little less Leonard Cohen though. All in all, an unremarkable set, sorta like having porridge for breakfast; nourishing, yes, but at the cost of texture and flavour. We supposed after 14 years, there’s probably a bit of calcification on the ole metal bones. Hopefully, Julie Christmas and the gang will loosen up as the tour continues. Catch ‘em if you can as they squeeze through, a-la-molasses, by a town near you.


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