Team Awesome presents: Trash Money / The Low Edges

Live at the Good Ship, Kilburn

Monday 6th August 2007

‘It’s like playing at Bob’s Country Bunker down here,’ remarks James Weaver, lead singer with the Low Edges, as he stares up from the Good Ship’s small, sunken concert platform. The average support act would be forgiven for feeling intimidated by the hordes peering down at them over their real ales while scrutinising the tops of their heads. But new bands, nervous of being thrown to the lions, may not realise that this amphitheatrical setting is perfect for their audience. A refreshing birds-eye-view of the band retains the intimate edge of a small gig, but loses the bane of some 7-foot platform-wearer in a stovepipe hat blocking your view. And while the minuscule dancefloor at the foot of the stage remains empty throughout their set, the Low Edges seem unaware of those above jostling each other for a look in.

The Low Edges
(l-r Peter Fletcher, Darryl Tomlin, Jen Denitto,
James Weaver, Rachel Weaver)

The Shadwell quintet appear to have chosen a punk rock RAF look for tonight in their khaki shirts and ties, while James himself comes off as a bizarro strawberry-blond version of Talking Heads’ David Byrne. Musically they provide a fine line in picaresque indie rock with a tasteful hint of country and blues thrown in. In these times of goofy hedonism, especially within the British indie scene, it’s good to see a band who are at least attempting a more literary stance. Each song sounds like a short (very short, in fact most songs clock in under the 3-minute mark) story, conjuring up images of grim rural mishaps in the late 19th century or something equally disturbing. Nevertheless, James’s paranoid theatrics are counteracted by his band’s upbeat playing style, with drummer Jen Denitto sporting a particularly rapturous grin as she plays behind him. Hopefully the Low Edges will have even more to smile about in the future, and if they keep writing songs as good as the dramatic ‘Cold As The Grave’, they certainly will.

Tonight’s hosts, female DJ duo Team Awesome, step up to provide a short set of mid-tempo house chops and the aforementioned minuscule dancefloor begins to fill up. Judging by their name, and the glitter-clad clutch of fans in tow, you’d think Trash Money were a bunch of try-too-hard electroclash throwbacks in the vein of Fischerspooner and the like. There’s a worrisome feeling that we’re about to be treated to an unabashed recreation of the Trashbat party in the Nathan Barley TV programme. This feeling isn’t helped by the presence of one or two well-known alternative comedians lurking among the throng.

So it’s a pleasant surprise to find that Trash Money aren’t quite the walking Hoxton clichés straight out of 2001, hellbent on forcing 8-bit synths and risqué lyrics about hanky-panky cyborgs down our throats for only the billionth time that we thought they might be. It just goes to show that you should never jump to conclusions – one day we’ll learn! In fact the five band members look more trailer trash than electroclash – all dodgy handlebar ‘taches, wifebeater vests and badly bleached hair. And while there’s still a trendy electro element to their sound (one can only assume some of the noises were pre-recorded, as there’s barely a synth in sight), it’s used more as a carrier for their ballsy brand of messed up rock’n’roll. Think along the lines of Primal Scream’s ‘Vanishing Point’ with elements of Royal Trux and Electric Six and you’d be halfway there.

Trash Money
(l-r Cary Creed, Joe Wilson, Chris Tate,
David Westlake, Molly Dolittle Slade)

Lead singer, Chris Tate’s slight frame boasts a surprisingly tenorous voice, barking out heady exclamations of urban excess over jack-knifed disco drumming and over-driven guitars. Guitarist, Molly Dolittle Slade (Real name? We hope!) could be auditioning for an Iron Maiden video, legs apart and hair-a-flailing, while gentle giant, co-writer and producer Joe Wilson occasionally joins in on vocals and tambourine. The songs remain suitably raw throughout, many sporting only the simplest of chorus lines. But then who cares when tracks like ‘747’ (‘I’m on a 747 coming out of the night/And I’m misbehaving on an aeroplane flight’) are delivered with such verve that only the most jaded spectator could refuse a mouth-a-long?




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