Back to gigs which is how this blog stared off in the first place. Dong Fang kick of the proceedings to a fast filling Sunflower Lounge on a working week Tuesday in Birmingham. It only takes a few songs to get the audience on side. Energy and sweat as the temperature rises. Dong Fang feature a talented guitarist who looks like he’s just left school and the Angus Young parallels are there for sure. ACDC do Garage Rock with the energy and fuzz of early Mudhoney. Dong Fang turn their back on the audience more than New Order did in the 80’s but the performance is an earnest one steeped in all that’s great about noisy rock n’ roll. Ones to watch out for.
Kinoco Hotel are a hotel themed all girl Japanese alternative band that almost defy description. There’s so little about them on the Internet (no CD’s or vinyl, or anything on eBay) and all the songs are in Japanese so I cannot hazard a stab at any song title or namecheck any albums. This hardly matters though and adds to the mystery. A band so stylised one would think they’d fallen straight out of a Tarantino movie.
Their music sounds like Sixties all girl band stuff from the Phil Spector stable pulled through some crazy Garage Rock blender. Live they have the speed and continuity of the Ramones and it’s all relentless good fun. The venue is at near bursting point and the vibe is great. People fill the stair case and push to the front of what is a tiny but great venue, literally underground.
Midway through the set someone flings a pint of water all over the crowd almost in slow motion. This in tandem causes a lot of audience movement just as Kinoco Hotel let drop a smiley face causing swirl of keyboard led Lounge Punk. Mayhem is always a moment away and Kinoco Hotel go down a storm. As the set draws to an end we get a bass solo, a guitarist in the crowd solo (more mayhem) and keyboard mounted and a drum solo. A short encore and they’re gone. A unique live experience and one worth repeating as soon as possible. Catch ’em if you can…