Zoheir Beig
09:01 5th April 2006

Naked Babes

The peep shows and sex shops of Soho are pretty much the perfect place for Naked Babes to play their debut show; The first new band to emerge from the recent, bewilderingly quick Test Icicles break-up (who confusingly are still touring till the end of the month), Naked Babes continue the notion that Devonte Hynes’ bands are named with the intention of causing schoolboys to giggle at their very mention.

Hackney/Dalston boy/girl duo Comanechi kick off tonight. They comprise one electric sign that looks like it belongs on children’s television, a guitarist, Simon, that spends the entire gig with his hair hanging over his face, and a Japanese drummer/singer, Akiko, who appears to have based her vocal style on imitating the theme tune to obscure 70s sci-fi programmes. It goes without saying that they are awesome. When the lyrics are comprehensible within Comanechi’s retarded punk-metal clatter, we hear “I wanna be naked!” and the soon-to-be-classic 45 second blast of “Fuck you! Thanks for nothing!”

Naked BabesSo, in-between ‘mourning’ the loss of his old band, Dev has somehow found the time to rope in not just members of London’s exciting Semi-Finalists, but also a certain Tom Vek. This time yesterday, Naked Babes, despite already amassing over 500 friends on My Space, had yet to put up a second of music, so tonight was always going to be a revelatory experience. Test-Icicles, (and in particular their live shows), captured the imagination because they felt so chaotically fresh, and in that respect Naked Babes are already on the back foot. We expect knackered synthesisers and allusions to power metal and band members leaping into the crowd to sing. We get contorted electronica (the second track they play, after a series of what Dev calls “wanky instrumentals”, sounds like someone having a breakdown to ‘Come To Daddy’), Slayer-esque guitar solos, and, yes!, band members leaping into the crowd to sing (in this case Semi-Finalists’ Ferry Gouw). All underpinned by the sort of dirty beats that could have stepped in from any of the shops nearby. If Test-Icicles were a migraine, then Naked Babes are a complete and utter headfuck. They say party! They say die!

Photo: Simon Leak