Ah good, another university tour, courtesy of label, Protest. They're actually one of Gigwise's favourite things since you get to see all that's new, hot and looney. There are plenty of people who love Akira the Don, but to me it all seems showy and extremely self-indulgent. If you’re into that kind of thing then there are some good rhythms going on in a dirty Eminem way (my rap knowledge is not pristine), but the man is incredibly repetitive, and his presentation is ostentatious to the point of bolshiness. That said, his female vocalist has a damn blissful voice.
Cazals (no 'the') have a lot of friends. In fact it’s difficult to move around in ULU because their friends are taking up all the room. Anyone on the brilliant Young & Lost label are worth paying attention to, and the Cazals are pretty sharp (their drummer is particularly on the ball). Recent singles like 'Poor Innocent Boys' have made an impact on indie playlists and for good reason. They've supported Babyshambles (if they turned up) and The Rakes, and fit neatly into some of the better examples of that category. Publications left, right and centre are tipping them for the top, and although we find it difficult to get fanatical, we can also see no reason for them not to. Lead singer Phil even chucks himself into the crowd come closing. In the words of Barry Norman, "and why not...?"
A strange human beatbox called Shlomo sees fit to entertain us while the set is being changed, so Gigwise goes to the bar having decided they are not in a Police Academy movie. Ladyfuzz are the kind of band who always have an electric exciting presence. While some of their songs may lack depth, they are one band that knows the power of the chorus. They have some brilliantly catchy sections which turn them into the hybrid lovechild of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and No Doubt (when No Doubt were good). However you feel that Ladyfuzz would not be happy with this allusion, and seem to want to carve their own scene. Debut single 'Oh Marie' taps in with the art rock feel of their vibe with a punchy hook of a chorus. Bleached funkster Liz even brandishes a kazoo, and could have a role as a heroine for the glamorous punk feel of the moment (Karen O must be getting lonely up there). The spiky feel of the tracks makes a good impact. Sure, they may not survive an ear-bashing from a critic in an armchair, but for the polluted school hall which is ULU, it’s the perfect accompaniment.
The review should end politely there, but we must have a special mention for Eddie Temple-Morris who just might be one of the most innovative DJs on the scene at the moment. He played us out into the early hours. Indie and Drum 'n' bass mixed in a hybrid genre, and if you don't know what we mean, then go see the man for god sake!
Photos by: Joel Crisp