Portland Arms, Cambridge
It was an early start, so I missed most of support act Bricolotheque’s set. Frankly no great loss, they sounded somewhere between Suicide and early Soft Cell. Most memorable fact: it was the loudest I’ve ever heard the venue’s PA.
Gemma and Maria were milling around in the audience, all smiles and hellos on their big night out from Norwich, happy to chat with and have photos taken with my teenage daughter.
A quick tuneup and Sink Ya Teeth hit the stage at 9pm. Lineup is Gemma (Fender Jaguar bass, BVs, Mac, occasional keys) and Maria (vocals, percussion, Roland drum pad, monophonic keyboard, occasional Vox ‘Droplet’ guitar). Backing tracks are played off the Mac, in the sequence of the album, so little room for wigging out. Musically, think a scaled-down LCD Soundsystem or ACR.
They’re having a whale of a time on stage and the audience are throwing shapes from the off. There’s one bloke down the front who must surely be chemically enhanced. After the first song, Gemma asks everyone to take a step forward and join in.
Glass, which on record has the ‘I Feel Love’ rhythm, is dedicated to Giogio Moroder and given a 10-minute segue into a wigged-out Crowley-like Donna Summer remix.
Control is “Written about that cunt… There are so many of them, but I mean Trump”. Cheers all round. Maria has judged the liberal Cambridge audience perfectly.
Last song, The Law, shares Hooky’s bass sound and brings to mind Force-era ACR.
It’s all over by a school-night friendly 10pm.
If you’re in Halifax, Manchester, London or Rennes (France), go see.
Mainly 20s and early 30s, with one mid-teen (my daughter) and one near-50 (me). Everyone on their feet from the off.
It made me think..
This is music to be danced to – I can see why they are A Certain Ratio’s support act of choice.
I wish more musicians smiled on stage. I wish more midweek gigs finished at 10pm.
It turns out I’m not the fossil I sometimes think I am. I wonder how my father would have reacted if I’d taken him to see ACR in 1985, when I was my daughter’s age.