On Thursday night I saw the Dum Dum Girls live at ULU. On Friday night I went to a fetish gathering in Camden.
It had been many years since I'd been to a gig in ULU. The space felt small, more enclosed. The crowd was a mixture of students, middle aged men who collect the NME, the gays and girls dressed like the Pipettes. If the Dum Dum Girls were a British band, their gig would have been somewhere in the EastEnd.
The first band - Novella
- consisted of three girls on guitars and bass, plus a tattooed bespectacled boy playing the drums. They were a cross between early Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt and Slowdive. They were taciturn but great.Oh Brian by Novella.
Glaswegian band Veronica Falls plundered earlier years than Novella: Sarah Records and the Primitives with more contemporary dashes of Camera Obscura. Two boys, two girls - again, a very good band with a tight, energetic sound that is better live than their recently released album. The Dum Dum Girls came out of their dressing room to watch their set and dance around a little. Later, during their own set, they dedicated one of their songs to them.Bad Feeling by Veronica Falls
The Dum Dum Girls set was very professional and straight forward, but slightly cold. 50s pop rock and roll with Ramones haircuts. This review
in the Ladies Toilet is spot on, though I would add that the reason why they didn't set the stage on fire was because they knew, at the back of their minds, that this was the bass player Bambi's last gig: they made the announcement towards the end and brought out champagne and flowers. It was visible that this was a sad thing for the rest of the band. Someone in the audience asked why Bambi was leaving and it sounds like she's going off to start a family.
The only time the crowd really came alive was when they played their cover of the Smith's "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". All in all though, I really liked the gig; I stood to the side with wink_martindale
, drinking Carlsbergs and nodding away at the songs - exactly what I wanted to do that night.
Yesterday, after completing my first shift at my new temp job, I met a friend in Camden and attended the Camden Crunch, a "vanilla" fetish night that happens once a month in a pub near the market.
Some people were in fetish gear but the majority looked "normal". I wondered whether they were looking at me and trying to guess what I was into. (I kept following my friend around and agreeing to all her suggestions - maybe they thought I was her new playing?) ;-)
We drank some whisky and chatted to people who were very friendly and jovial. The music was cheesy and the place started filling up fairly quickly. A few people introduced themselves to me out of the blue; if I didn't have my bag and wasn't wearing office clothes I might have been tempted to stay longer.
If you want a chilled out night with a good mixture of
people, where you might end up making friends, I recommend you check it out: Camden Crunch