Sunday, 15 May 2011

Al.B.Damned, Raggedy Angry and The Birthday Massacre: Southampton, 7.10.10

Since I am off to see Panic! at the Disco tonight (yes, I like more than one genre of music, bite me), what better time to post a concert review?

I was so excited when I discovered that The Birthday Massacre, one of my top-three favourite bands, were due to be playing near me that I booked tickets for me and Jodie straight away! Unfortunately, on the day itself, Jodie was feeling unwell and decided not to go. Panic ensued, with me ringing around my mates to see who was available to accompany me. Dan, of course, came to the rescue.

At the train station on our way to Southampton, we saw the assistant manager from the charity shop where I work, who seemed amused and also faintly alarmed by my purple fluffy jacket, teeny shorts, fishnets and corset combo. When we arrived at our destination, it was worse, as a very drunk young man outside the station took it upon himself to start fondling my jacket. Which was highly unnerving.

We made our way to the Joiners on foot. The building was already packed and there was a queue to get in, despite the fact that the bands were still soundchecking. So we ordered our drinks and headed into the stage area so we could position ourselves close to the front.

The first band of the night was Al.B.Damned. I was interested to check them out as I had read about them in Spider's Web Magazine, and they certainly did not disappoint. I don't usually buy CDs at gigs as you can generally find them cheaper online, but I couldn't resist! I'm a sucker for heavy riffs and cheesy lyrics, especially when blasted out by well-dressed guys with long hair and creepy contact lenses. The set was, um, interestingly decorated with a mutilated human torso dangling cheerfully from Al's mike stand.

Take no notice of the dismembered female torso.
Al's a nice guy.
Al.B.Damned's blend of horror punk and shock rock was loud, aggressive, and really good fun. My favourite songs were Katch'em and Kill'em, and the fantastically titled From Transylvania With Love. After the set, I snagged their album, and Dan kindly chased all the band members around the building getting them to autograph it for me. I am quite shy and was grateful not to have to do any of the talking, although all the guys did seem really nice. Although I'm pretty sure Kodi was on something...

However, Dan is a sneaky guy, and just after asking Al to sign the CD sleeve, pushed me in his direction and annouced, "By the way, this is her CD, but she's too shy to talk to you." Al shook my hand and said that he was shy too. We chatted for a while, and I mentioned that I had been intending to go to the next Spider's Web Fest, where the band would be playing, but my friend hadn't been able to afford to go with me. Al said that if I added the band on Facebook we could work out a way for me to go with them.

Sadly I don't have Facebook, and I'm not in the habit of attending festivals with strangers (especially charming ones), but - seriously, how nice is that?!

The next band up that night was Raggedy Angry, whom I had suspected I would like just from the name. Thankfully I was right! This Canadian band play a fusion of alt rock, synthpop and punk, and yes, I found myself buying their latest album too...

Their look was very slick, with matching futuristic jumpsuits with circuitboard-esque detail that glowed in the UV lighting; the dead (pun intended) opposite of Al.B.Damned's ripped, graffitied clothes. Unfortunately, that self-same UV lighting made it impossible to take a decent picture, so kindly imagine pale, scrawny dark-haired guys in silver jumpsuits onstage.
Raggedy Angry.
Just about.
From the opening notes of my new fave RA song Don't Mess With The S.S., I knew I was going to be parting with yet more of my hard-earned cash. Their music is really easy to dance to and will please synthpop lovers, but the group's more rock-oriented tracks could possibly win over fans of Panic! and My Chemical Romance.

By this point I was two pints of strawberry cider down and dancing like a maniac. Apologies to the redheaded girl that I violently shoved, but you were grinding on my boyfriend. :-/

After Raggedy Angry's set, we did see the singer at the bar with his jumpsuit unzipped to the waist, but we decided that we had bothered enough musicians for one evening.

The third band, of course, were the group that I was dying to see. The Birthday Massacre arrived onstage to roars from the pumped-up crowd, singer Chibi looking mischievous and slightly mad, her trademark pigtails and school uniform at odds with her nose ring and tattoos.

I cannot express with words how mind-blowing this band are live; you really should go and see them for yourself. The eerie, nursery-rhyme lyrics contrast superbly with the rock influences that come to the fore during a live performance, guitars pounding and heads banging, all with that irresistable Industrial beat that makes TBM such a slick package.

I would jump at the chance to see TBM live again, it was honestly one of the best shows I have been to - spearheaded by Chibi bouncing around the stage like a baby doll on acid, occasionally flashing her lacies with a flick of that too-cute plaid skirt; her lipsticked snarl making her a convincing Goth-scene answer to Courtney Love.

It was great to hear a mix of old favourites such as Horror Show played alongside newer material; my only regret is that we had to leave midway through the set to catch the damn train. (Also that I was quite drunk by this point and couldn't find the women's toilets. After stumbling around in circles a few times I gave up and went in the men's. It was empty when I went in; but the one cubicle had no functioning lock, so I had to hold the door closed with one booted foot whilst balancing awkwardly... of course, when I came out, there were several blokes lined up at the urinals who stared at me in horror. I didn't see anything, chaps, promise!)

Listening to: Don't Mess With The S.S. - Raggedy Angry


Saskia said...

I love TBM, too! I saw them live twice now, the second time wasn't as good, unfortunately.
I was as lucky to meet the band members after the first concert, and they were all so sweet! Chibi is absolutely adorable. I'd love to see them live again!

The Green Fairy said...

Haha I thought you didn't drink Amy! And it seems you're not all that shy when it comes to wenches hitting on your man :P

chaoskitten[DF] said...

I love TBM too. They're my second favourite band.

I'd love to see them live.

Anonymous said...

TBM is my favorite! ^_^
They were also my first concert.
It was by far the best I've ever been to!

ultimategothguide said...

@ The Green Fairy - I don't drink OFTEN. ;-)

InfiltratorN7 said...

The Birthday Massacre are fantastic! I've seen them live too, they were being supported by another of my favourite bands: Screaming Banshee Aircrew (who btw I do not recommend checking out via youtube. In fact I would never recommend introducing anyone to a new band through youtube as the quality of the sound for live show-based videos tend to be poor, see them live or get hold of their recorded music. This band is a grower - the more I heard them the more I grew to love them).

I'm happy to buy bands' CDs at gigs even if it is a bit more expensive then online because they need the money, they need the support. I save buying online for the bigger artists who are on major labels.

Anonymous said...

I love The Birthday Massacre so much! If only my mom would let me go to a concert... If I did, I would hunt all the band members down and make them sign my T-shirt. And my face, and my boots, and my laptop, and my pillow, and my arm, and my little toe, and my dog, and my hat, and my IPod... And my face. Did I mention my face?

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