Senseless Things, Skinny Girl Diet, The Tuts – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, Saturday 25th March 2017

Senseless Things announce a gig.  First since 1995, unless you count three of them getting together to play four songs in tribute to the might Wiz from Mega City Four 10 years ago.  Not keen on simply seeing old bands relive the glory years, not keen on big venues… but fuck it, its Senseless Things so I’ll get a ticket.

FFWD a few months and they announce the support.  The Tuts – who I quite like, but I’ve never seen live.  Skinny Girl Diet – who I totally adore, but I’ve never seen live.  RESULT.

And perhaps there you have why I instinctively knew I had to get a ticket for Senseless Things.  Did they just get any old band from back in the day to support?  Or did they make a point of choosing two young bands, both of whom happen to be all-female and political?  And damn fine.  Both seem to owe a debt to bands of Senseless Things era as well, which probably helped them get on the bill.

The Tuts came on first.  They are quite retro pop-punk.  Sort of remind me of the likes of Heavenly and the Pooh Sticks in a way, catchy songs, loads of energy… and they had a load of fun up there.  They are not a band that are original or noisy enough for me to love, but I like them a lot, and know that I’ght have loved them had they been around back in the day.

Second on we had Skinny Girl Diet.  Seriously, everything.  The way they dress.  The way the drummer is having the most fun, whilst the singer / guitarist is having less fun than anybody anywhere ever.  The bassist rocking a BC Rich Warlock, whilst looking vaguely like a hippy / goth student from 1990 in a long skirt and velvet jacket.  They play fast.  They play slow.  They play loud, they play quiet.  If Nirvana had been 10 times angrier, infinitely more female, much fuzzier, more political then they might have been as good as Skinny Girl Diet.  I absolutely love them, I really do.  I never ever do ratings, but if I was the sort of moron reviewer who did I’d give them 10/10.  Maybe 11.  Maybe even 12.

Senseless Things… what can I say, legendary band from my youth… I can’t say I loved them all the way first time around.  Great early singles and first album, second album was perhaps a touch bass heavy and commercial sounding, third and fourth more mature and darker, maybe less consistent than the first.  But all through their career they wrote some classic singles / songs… as a result they’ve probably got 30 stone-cold classics to choose from.  Their Post(card) Things CVs are incredible… between the four of them they have played with Muse, 3 Colours Red, The Streets, and Gorillaz and got a co-writing credit on ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ which has to go down as one of the best alt / punk songs of the last 25 years.  And that’s before we talk about the less well know stuff including Mark and Cass’s current band, Deadcuts.

I have not got much more to say.  They got on stage.  They rattled through 20-odd songs plus a three song encore.  The place was rammed, the crown were enthusiastic (lie, the crowd were bang up for it, with significant swathes over-excited).  There was some stage-diving despite an early 1990s crowd and a twenty-teens security team.  Morgan’s bass playing.  Everything about them.  How good a song is Too Much Kissing?  One new song.  I hope they do it again soon.


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