London had a shit week. I want to cry and scream with rage. And it is over 30 degrees. London is too crowded and dirty and sad for hot weather. It is sunny, and there is a big cloud of sadness and anger. The cloud of the Finsbury Park Mosque attack the day before, the cloud of Grenfell Tower, the cloud of London Bridge, the cloud of disappointment that we still have a government that we do not agree with or vote for, the cloud of Brexit, the cloud of Westminster Bridge. Too much. Give us a break. We are all being nicer to each other to ease the pain, but we hurt. If any other band had been playing on tuesday night then I wouldn’t have gone.
I’m sure Dam know a thing or two about rage and sadness and being attacked. They are from Palestine. They are Palestine’s longest running hip hop band, they’ve been making music for around 20 years. I only came across them a couple of years ago, when they released the excellent anti-gender violence song Who You R.
Within minutes of Dam bounding on to the stage all of the tension I felt inside started to melt. They were medicine for my soul. This band are so full of positive energy, hope and catchy tunes. It was impossible not to dance. They preach a serious ethic with a smile and a wicked sense of humour. “We are Dam, from Palestine. Our country is occupied, but we have a scene… Hey, you should all move to Palestine, I hear London isn’t so good lately”.
Otoboke Beaver at the Working Man’s Club, Bethnal Green. 5th May 2017.
Otoboke Beaver blow my mind. They are all absolutely masters of their weapons, they play with exact precision and ease at 100mph at the same time as contorting into acrobatics. They command absolute attention, waiting for silence before launching into a full on punk rock assault.
They promised to return to the UK again next year. I will be counting the days.
Support was from the excellent c86-ish Say Sue Me from South Korea.
more GIGS AND PENCILS Otoboke Beaver:
Otoboke Beaver in the gigs and pencils calendar 2017 (free to download)
Otoboke Beaver at the Shaklewell Arms May 2016
It was Ian Damaged’s 50th birthday and 25 years of Damaged Goods Record Label, and there was a secret surprise! Talulah Gosh!!!!!
Talulah Gosh at the 100 Club
I was too far back and behind a post to see much of Helen Love, but what struck me most about the gig was the amount of 40 year old blokes who were so-bloody-excited that they jumped up and down for the whole show.
Helen Love and audience of middle-ish aged blokes with beards and glasses, who were acting like excited teenage girls.
Moon Duo are one of the bands that I got totally obsessed with this year. I saw them at the Boston Arms and then in Brighton for the final date of their tour. They had an amazing light show. Afterwards we went for a post-gig beer on the pier and looked at the full moon reflecting on the sea and I sketched the gig on the back of the printout for the ticket
Moon Duo at the Haunt with fantastic light show.
We visited south of France for the Happy Punk festival. We fell in love with Fred’s chien Scarlet, the best punk dog ever. Pink decided to improve our fish costumes with some red tape. Ohhh la la! Rabies Babies love le France!
Rabies Babies play a song for Scarlet at the Happy Punk Festival in France
Pink taped us up.
Scarlet le Chien