Three bands down after Day 1 just seven to go on Day 2 of the rather marvellous A Slow Education mini Festival at one of York’s finest venues, the Crescent. Perspex took to the stage first and it is always good to have such a lively band to kick off proceedings at the start of what looked like a great day of music. Perspex have a tank full of energy and probably a whole bunch of jerry cans full of the stuff too. At their peak, they sound like prime time Clash with vocal phrasings like Steve Harley. Who doesn’t love Perspex? I was lucky enough to review Cowgirl’s eponymously titled first album a couple of months back so I was looking forward to hearing some of the new songs played live and they did not disappoint. If Carlsberg made garage rock it would probably sound like Cowgirl. This band is an MC5 for the 21st Century. The Lounge Society were next and lounge is not something they do. This is psyched up, punchy, funky rock with a hard edge, definitely not music for a relaxing night in your lounge. It is music made to make you move around maniacally while balancing like a crazed high wire walker on that fine line between genius and madness. Bands are definitely looking so much younger to old farts like me these days, but lead singer Cameron Davey belies those youthful looks with just the right measure of rock-star swagger and menace. The Lounge Society are truly a band for our age.
If you like your rock sharp, funky and angular a la Talking Heads then I have no doubt that you will love the majestic Treeboy & Arc. There are some heartfelt punky vocals across some outstanding tunes that tell of real life. Bass player James Kay is bloody good and must be close to the bass skills of Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This is funk-punk for music maniacs. This band is not afraid to show off their skyscraping, jacked-up riffs that underpin some colossal, towering tunes. Next on stage were the band that I have seen more than any other in 2021, but thanks to these bastard Covid days that is only three times. I am talking about one of York’s mightiest bands, Bull. This was another stunning set from a band that is great on record and truly awesome in the live environment. The new songs take their sublime harmonies to another level, definitely to Beach Boys proportions. Not sure why, but I have a strange vision of Bull recording and acapella cover of They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse In Your Soul”. Also how about a Monkees style TV show featuring scenes from Bull mansions where the ban get into all kinds of surreal adventures and psychedelic japes. That needs to be made, right? Billy Nomates might genuinely have no mates and no band on stage with her but she has balls. To take to the stage with just a laptop and stun the crowd into a trancey submission so easily takes supreme skill and she has that in abundance. Her beats are huge and so is her social conscience. Vocally she scores 11/10 for me, I am now most definitely a Billy Nomates fan. Headliners Warmduscher was highly recommended to me and I had listened to a lot of their stuff before this show. The name “Warmduscher” is German and the term literally means ‘hot showerer’, which implies the idea of someone unwilling to step out of their comfort zone or do things that make them feel uncomfortable. It stems from a German myth that taking a cold shower is considered masculine. So is this a band unwilling to step out of their comfort zone, I don’t think so. This is a great bunch of musicians from Fat White Family and Paranoid London. Their post-punk sound is enhanced by some great tunes but I felt their performance was lacklustre and lacked sparkle on the night. Maybe it was the ridiculously long soundcheck or the heavy reliance on vocal effects pedals by vocalist Clams Baker Jr. Mate you have a good voice stop messing with all the effects stuff. The jury is out for me on Warmduscher, so I hope I caught them on an off night, but I need to see them again to confirm.
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