review archive

Saloon / Blusher Upstairs at the Garage 13th May 2001

Strange Fruit night, more free badges, sensational sounds ('Some Velvet Morning' hurrah!) and two bands to investigate.
Saloon wow us with their splendiferous sounds; a mixture of electronic blippyness courtesy of a couple of Moogs flanking the stage, hammering drone-riffs backed by viola played by a cat-faced girl interspersed with songs that are pure Spring sunshine.

Everybody seems to swap instruments for each song, alternating keyboards for guitars and viola for yes! another bloody melodica! Are those things being given away free in cornflakes packets or something? Still, it gives a nice wistful edge to songs. On vocals is a Corin from Sleater Kinney lookie-likey whose voice has the same pure, detached quality as Trish Broadcast. She manages to twiddle Moog dials with one hand whilst singing and playing guitar, a multi-layered sound sensation! One minute Stereolabtastic songs build drones around basic riffs bursting into heartbreaking crescendos. The next we get summery pastoral jangling with aloof-girl vocals filled with divine viola. Fab.
After such gorgeous grooving, Blusher are a blemish on the pristine cheekbones of the evening. Two pony-tailed girls, one on keyboards, t'other on guitar and vocals, plus some blokes doing drums and stuff. It's bombastic brittlepop full of windy histrionics. One song begins with oceanic cymbals and tinkling keyboards, dodgy All About Eve lame-o goth. Or maybe 'The Bends'-era Radiohead with no redeeming features or full-on pompous Mansun. Whatever, Kitten gets fed up and decides to have a bit of a sit-down, checking out peoples' footwear. Urgh, a man in flip fucking flops. Most unpleasant all round. Bombastic Blusher
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