Saturday, 17 May 2008

X marks the spot

The Whip @ 93 Feet East, Brick Lane, London, Wednesday 14th May

Gawd, Brick Lane, is a shitty mess. But it's also a buzzy little place where everyone seems wired and up for anything. If someone decided to take a crap in the road - which wouldn't actually go amiss - there'd be a crowd to cheer them on. There's an air of defiance against the creeping gentrification next door in Spitalfields (so sad) but in actual fact, people are just oblivious to the outside world. The curry houses at the bottom half are right up the arse of the Truman Brewery half with its grimy bars, street cafes and fashionista cafes. If one half is Dehli, the other half is Goa - or likes to think it is.

And it's the perfect place for The Whip to play. A schizoid band like this lot, who KNOW that they're Arthur AND Martha seemed right at home in 93 Feet East. The crowd were a right mixed bag too. Teens to mid-lifers, girls and boys, straight and gay, The Whip had them all. And how fucking refreshing! The set, mostly their new album X Marks Destination, veered from gig to club PA in a very easy fashion. Songs like Frustration have all the right anthemic gig buttons: the resolute lyrics, the driving urgent bass and soaring synths whilst Throw It In the Fire and previous single Divebomb had the crowd whooping and throwing shapes like they were in a heaving sweaty dance tent.

One bloke in front of me was going off like an electrocuted octopus, arms and legs all over the shop. And at the front, tons of testosterone bouncing up and down like the floor was made of rubber. And weirdly, the balconies along the side were where the girlies screamed and hollered. But such divides melted away when songs like Sister Siam were played. That drop, a minute into the song, which gives way to the thunderous chorus is perfect live. If the roof wasn't quite lifted throughout, this was one bit where it definitely came unhinged.

The band themselves are very at home on stage. It's like they've always been the ones in the crowd and now they're on the stage creating the mayhem, they LOVE it. There's a lot of raised handclapping at a Whip gig, especially from the stage. Singer, Bruce Carter, who has a great voice on record, is even more confident live and fits so well around the chunky beats and chords.

The dance rock pop clash almost makes The Whip a band of two halves. But they, quite skilfully, pull it all together in a way bands like The Chemical Brothers have never quite achieved. Dubsex is the perfect example: a dance brain behind a proper song. They're following on from the likes of New Order and Depeche Mode and their sound would sit easily in a stadium. It's that big.

Dubsex - The Whip

Go figure the album here at iTunes and BUY it NOW.

And here's a fab interview with the band on Drowned in Sound, where, interestingly they touch on that 'across all boards crowd'.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Wow, sounds like a fabulous show. And at 93 Feet East...such a small venue! I hope they make it over to the States so I can see them. I really love their album. There's something incredibly timeless-via-the-80s about "Frustration," "Sirens," and "Sister Siam" but the whole lot sounds totally contemporary at the same time.