review archive

The Chemistry Experiment / Michaelmas / Wintergreen / Evil Speakers
- The Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green, 26th November 2005

It’s a damp old evening in Bethnal Green, but never fear it’s Fortuna Pop! night at the Pleasure Unit, so ignore the big ole picture on the wall of Rod ‘the mod’ and his spazzy haircut and concentrate on the groovy pop delights spread before you. Avant-urban dance duo Hott 2 Trott turn up having had their at the Noodle King up the road. Apparently this was a mistake as the King has gone well downhill of late serving up greasy portions of mush. Boo. As a result H2T’s performance is a tad lacklustre. Still, they rally round and flick out enough cool moves to earn words of appreciation for their (ar-)rhythmic interpretation of the music from first band The Evil Speakers.

The Evil Speakers

The Evil Speakers are pretty damn great, knocking out quirkily spangly winter warmers like ‘Sawdust’ They have a Love-ish kind of twisty West Coast freakery thing going on amidst their ramshackle Hackney indiepop cheekiness. Plus there is some majestic fur hat wearing going on.

We fear for Wintergreen and their viper’s nest of cables, laptop, keyboards, not to mention Jona’s ongoing quest to transmogrify into Thurston Moore right before our very eyes. But hey! It’s okay, the band done good, whipping up a storm of warbling, tootling, buzzing indie pop noise.

Michaelmas used to be Adekola Sound. Now they are Michaelmas and they cheer me with their charmingly catchy tunes, twinkly sometimes beat-pop sometimes country lolloping guitars and intriguing use of a prop telephone. Nice.

The Chemistry Experiment make the sound of paisley curtains being analysed by a big blipping and mysterious mainframe. With whirring cogs. I like the way Emily on keyboards wears a pair of heavy-duty goggles perched atop her head like she’s ready to knuckle down to some serious space-disco astral-travelling. Meanwhile Steven is attired messiah-like in billowsome white shirt, leading the Chem Exp through a moody brooding set of glowing psyche wonderment. The zenith of all this plinking and sparkling is mighty new single ‘Interstellar Autumn’. Wafting (and that is the only word for it) in upon swirly flute, the band present a fizzingly atmospheric version of ‘Forever Autumn’ – that War of the Worlds tune. Blimey!

The Chemistry Experiment Then double blimey with a side-order of space-out! The weft and warp of time shift and the song mutates into ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, Steven curled over his guitar blustering out a mid-tune cranky freak-out. Then the whole thing heaves on its axis and we’re back where we started, flute slightly forlornly bringing us back down through ‘Forever Autumn’’ til we’re blinking at the brown wallpaper bewilderedly. Neato!
[top of page]