Posts Tagged ‘29th March 2018’

MUX and The Pink Diamond Review at the Holroyd Arms in Guildford, 29th March 2018

April 6, 2018

The Holroyd Arms has been on my radar for most of the time that I’ve been back in Guildford, but it’s only fairly recently that I’ve been.  “Why not sooner?” I hear you ask.  The fact it’s a bit out of the town centre doesn’t help, not least as I hate cabs, and I hate driving and not being able to have a drink.  But mainly it’s the music.  They seem to have a focus on old school punk and mod – neither of which are particularly my thing – as well as a bit of ska, northern soul and covers bands (not my thing either, particularly).

Serious props to the Landlord for the fact that he’s taken over a pub and set up a nice little back room which is decent for live music.  10/10 for that alone.

But now he’s starting to try to open things up I think, to a wider variety of music and broader clientele.  In particular the last (and first) couple of gigs I went to there were put on by students at ACM and the university I think and attracted a pretty good crowd each time.  And here we are, a Thursday night and two bands who were both on my radar, playing together a short cycle from home… bring it on…

Anyway, the night in question.  First on The Pink Diamond Review who were on my radar before I saw the gig announced.

First the visuals.  This is the stage, before the set started. I have nothing against bands who make it all about the music – most bands – but I love the effort and the effect from Tim Lane and co.

Image may contain: one or more people and night

And that’s before the video show starts as well.

Musically it’s a backing track / hardware sequencer – I think – with live drums and guitar over the top.  Love the really retro, tremelo-y guitar sound.  Pretty catchy, think Sigue Sigue Sputnik with less pop and rock, and a psych/lounge/western sound… with a bit of rockabilly / early rock no roll or something.  I could listen to those guitars all night.

I’m not gonna go claim they’re brilliant, but they have a fuck of a lot going for them and I look forward to seeing them again.  Drop the live drummer, make it more techno-y and MUCH heavier, and it’s kinda where my musical endeavours are currently focussed… I’m not saying they should do any of those things, but it kinda gives and idea of how much I love where they’re coming from.

I can see them as the house band in a weird brothel in a David Lynch movie.  If that’s not a compliment I don’t know what is.

Mux are similar in that they are also a two-piece, with a live guitar and electronics.  Sonically, totally different.  Kinda 80s synth pop updated to a more modern dance thing, with added post-punk guitar-based experimentalism.  Or something.

Like Pink Diamond Review I love that they’re doing something different.  Not as unique as Pink Diamond, but really interesting nonetheless and much more 2018 (not sure Pink Diamond are from this dimension, let alone 2018).  Harder to work out what was live and what wasn’t – and that’s something I can find frustrating as an audience member… but from what I could work out a lot of the electronics was played and / or triggered live.

Definitely another band to keep an eye on.

There is something so powerful about a full live band at the top of it’s game, but so good to see a night where the bands did something more unusual, without simply being a dance act failing to work – inevitably – in a gig environment.