A young man taps me on the back. “Can we start a mosh pit?” (when Black Midi start). He looks as uncertain as I did when I thought I was in the wrong queue for The Warehouse Project. Has he seen the audience? He’s either just arrived or batshit crazy. Both being very welcome to me.
The audience to last nights Warehouse Project consists of couples who can’t keep to themselves, young men in designer trousers and girls in Drake tops. You know the kind. The one the bouncer tries to chat up before the set starts.
I’ve come to review this night on behalf of knowing Black Midi are playing. I was told shortly before and didn’t research the lineup. I’m expecting a collection of fresh faces in a dingy venue. Some new bands to get excited about. Surely if Black Midi are playing they will have some intriguing co-supports.
Opening up are a duo called ‘Jadu Heart’. They wear animal masks, and look like a caricature of ‘Homework’ era Daft Punk. The music is 80s esque synth pop. At one point the male broke into a guitar solo that I thought might be tasty. However he backed down into repeating the same 2 notes for a good half of the solo. His vocal was pleasant enough (rather like Kevin Parker). I’ll give him some points for that falsetto.
The rest was a bit unimaginative. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some of the reinvented 80s pop going around. See Carly Rae Jepsen’s last album. With some inspiration maybe there’d be chemistry. Get some funky bass lines. Listen to some Prince albums. Come back. It sells me. Maybe loose the masks too. They may as well have covered ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘. It looked a bit pretentious. It was rather comical when the female said “say hi if you see us in the crowd later”, as if anyone would recognise them without their masks on.
Next up is a group I couldn’t work out the name for. I call them ‘Tasteless‘. Here we present 3 girls who may as well work in a strip club. The least offensive is wearing a crop top with ‘OMG’ written on. The second has a (pretty see-through) bra on. Its completed with what looks like gym shorts, but they are rolled up into her arse like a thong. The third, and lead of the group is wearing an oversized t shirt with some ripped denim shorts, rolled up high. The group spent most of the time grinding on each other, or on chairs. It reminded me of being at the school talent show, where the teachers awkwardly watched the girls dancing sexually. It is a shame that sex is the selling point these days.
There was an underwhelming vocal from the lead singer. More often than not the backing vocals overpowered. Those being played through a speaker, in case you thought the other girls sang. The lead singer made cringe worthy statements such as, “no one will be watching you. they will be watching me”. If she wasn’t doing this she was asking the crowd to “get sexy”, whatever that means.
I am so bored by this point that I watch a guy balancing 4 empty cans of Hooch in his hands. He looks so engrossed by the girls to find a bin. I am worried about his bladder. Maybe warehouse project should hire him for their stage instead. Circus entertainers add more variety.
A DJ comes on. He has two pioneer CDJs and moves his hands more than a sign language interpreter. The movements are camp and charming, but the performance doesn’t cut the cake. He performs the worst DJ set i have ever witnessed. He didn’t mix the songs together, and when he tried to the songs overlapped awfully. In the end he gave up. He overused the effects on the deck to make up for it. The crowd didn’t care. They just wanted to twerk on each other. One even tried to twerk on me. If people are like this, I hereby accept being a bachelor forever.
Then things got interesting. The Black Midi fans poured in, and the band followed. Here is when I had the encounter with the young lad. The band go straight into an epic, atmospheric build up that is rather like something out of a Godspeed You Black Emperor album. They build this into a huge jam that sounds like it could be an unrecorded, more experimental part of New Orders ‘Blue Monday‘. When Picton isn’t playing bass he is playing a Pink Floydey organ. Meddle era. Especially when you have Simpson playing hypnotically. I am wondering if the next record will have a 23 minute jam on it. I would not be surprised at this rate.
Things get noisy and the epic jam builds and builds into a wall of sound. Greep is shrieking nonsense into the microphone. The awake and hungry members of the audience started a riot like mosh pit. An older guy runs on stage recording with his Iphone. This could be history in the making. The trap fans are battered against the barrier. They’re holding on for their lives. This is like the Sex Pistols. The revolution.
Simpson pulls faces at Greep. He lifts his hands from the drum kit to signal 5 fingers. This being 35 minutes into a noisy, chaotic jam. Here I understand perfectly what they’ve been doing. They have minutes to wrap up the performance. A genius fuck you to the venue for even bothering to put them with the wrong crowd. The technicians gave them vocal mics, including a bullet mic for ‘Years Ago‘. Yet the band played none of these tracks. The question on my lips is ‘what are black midi doing at warehouse project?’. This is the band we don’t deserve and are lucky to have.