review archive

The Moldy Peaches / The Bees / Kids Near Water Camden Monarch 7th June 2001

Yowls of glee last week whilst reading gig listings on a toilet door (most convenient) in the Monarch, 'cos The Moldy Peaches are coming to town.

Now, we all know NME has stuck its oar in and tried to lump The Moldys in with The Strokes in the most preposterous piece of 'scene' manufacturing since they decided Shed Seven were part of 'the new wave of new wave'. As a result, there's a loong queue snaking across the Monarch's ground floor. Luckily, we pre-booked tickets, so we sit and snigger at the Camden kidz in their box-fresh lowdown 'n' dirty NYChic threads until the queue evaporates when all tickets are sold out.


Upstairs, we take a peek at Kids Near Water, but despite having a great name, the music is same old same old noisy guitar rock, a bit Ash without the bubblegum. One song alternates between sounding like Big Country (argh!) and Buffalo Tom (yay!). It all gets too much so we go back downstairs to stare at the scenesters (tip: don't try and rock the Keith Richards look with chelsea boots that have split open at the back, it just looks darn scummy, only Keith can do that). We spot Sue Webster, one half of 'young British artists' ™ duo, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. You know you're in the middle of a hype storm when Hoxtonites break out of their protective ring of Shoreditch loft cool to venture into, eww, Camden.

Back upstairs for The Bees who surprise us with ramshackle ska including woo! trumpets and wahey! recorder. They look like a bunch of stoners and are apparently from the Isle of Wight, where kicking back with a big doobie and chucking out some ska is probably a wise idea. It all makes a refreshing change and at least you can't accuse XFM who are sponsoring this happening of scene mongering.

As The Bees buzz off (aha!) we're in a good frontish position to marvel at The Moldy Peaches as people start squeezing in behind. We're all comfortably packed in until certain arrogant types start pulling the old 'excuse me can I get past?' trick and then plonking themselves directly in front, so close their hair tickles our noses. Argh! I get gig rage, the red mist starts to descend. Close eyes, breathe deeply. Calm down to the extent that my initial homicidal feelings die down. Instead I take advantage of the fact that this ridiculous baldy short-arse (at least he wasn't a tall person blocking out everything), with a miniature dice eyebrow piercing (soo tacky) has a rucksack on (cardinal gig sin). With cat-like stealth I unzip the rucksack and deposit my empty glass, being too well-bred (not to mention harbouring a fear of cut ankles) to leave it on the floor. Excellent! The silly man doesn't even realise. I could have nicked all his stuff!

Cheered considerably by the image of him opening up his bag and frowning bemusedly at this invasion, we're thrilled as The Moldy Peaches finally appear. Adam in his sailor suit, hair madly askew, wide-eyed like a startled bunny. Kimya actually dressed as a bunny in her grubby, floppy-eared rabbit costume (complete with whiskers drawn on her face). They look surprised to see us all staring back at them, but cheerily launch into 'Lucky Number Nine', 'Indie boys are neurotic…' It all goes a bit funny when halfway through the song they start singing different bits, but it doesn't really matter and everyone cheers anyway. Adam glazedly informs us they haven't slept for 28 hours and Kimya explains they only flew in this morning.
peach delight?

I had been labouring under the delusion that there were just the two Moldy Peaches but they appear to have several other singers who like to mix with the crowd. Either that or there were certain elements of the audience who thought we'd paid to hear them singing every single word in crap American accents. By all means sing along, some of these choruses are begging to be shouted out by the whole audience ('who oo oo's got the crack etc'), but when I can hear some idiot caterwauling in my ear above the band, it's too much.

We get lots from the album, including of course, 'Downloading Porn With Davo', 'Steak For Chicken' and (altogether now) 'Who's Got The Crack', plus a hilarious rude new song. I thought this was being recorded for the radio? They're incredibly endearing, giggling mid-song, asking if anyone knows how to tune a guitar and looking bemusedly touched by the ecstatic crowd reaction. Adam wibbles off into mid-song mad geetar solos, scrabbling at his acoustic as Kimya rolls her eyes. Both of them wind up lying on the floor at one point.

When I first heard the album it reminded me of Beat Happening, same exuberant lo-fi shambolicness and naïve charm, especially Kimya's more poignant moments like 'Nothing Came Out'. She sings this tonight giggling and strangely shy underneath an enormous blonde afro which springs to life when she takes off the rabbit head. 'I'm just your average Thundercats ho…' making sense what with the whiskers and the fright-wig mane.
Julian Green/Adam Casablancas Oh yeah,and I finally realise NME were right all along, there is a connection other than geographical with The Strokes. Adam looks exactly like Julian Casablancas. If J. Casablancas had been pulled through a hedge backwards and stuffed into a sailor suit. Whatever, by the time the pair of them shuffle offstage, leaving everyone hanging around hopefully for a non-existent encore, we're completely spellbound and charmed.
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