Posted tagged ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’

Should we shave the queen?

October 5, 2009

It’s very rare that a band I’ve never heard of or listened to before impresses me live these days, it’s even rarer for a band to have me dancing like an idiot charging around with their instruments and holding the singer aloft on a drum.  So it was a real surprise to me to have that experience and about an hour later rank it as probably the best live experience I’ve ever had.

It’s been ten months since what has gone down in my memory as the finest ATP Gubbinsfestival I have ever attended. So good was ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas that I still get a warm glow thinking about it now, three days in Butlins with a line-up chosen by the Melvins and Mike Patton. Not only did we get a selection of bands we loved, band we’d never heard of but discovered and now adore but you can add swimming, water slides, mini golf and as many chilli cheese bites as you can manage to the list of amazing things you could do there.

It’s now become painfully apparent since my return however how badly nearly every other festival does things and as such makes me look at the rest in a very snobby light. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to see so many great performances again, I won’t go through a list now but you can see what you missed here.

Standing around by the second stage on Sunday evening I was wondering where the hell the band were, according to the programme they were called Monotonix and hailed from Tel Aviv,  when  suddenly I caught a glimpse of a very hairy man in orange hotpants crowd surfing, grabbing people’s drinks from their hands, taking gulps and launching the rest over everyone. Having established they were on the floor in the middle of the crowd I decided I needed to get a piece of the action so slowly made my way closer and closer. By the time I was in I was being handed a drum and following a procession of people outside of the venue whilst banging merrily away. My new hairy hero was now insisting me and a group of other ‘audience’ members hold the drum above our heads with him on top whilst he stood on it and sang what I can only assume was some sort of Israeli folk song. Unfortunately by this time security had got far too nervous and stopped people processing out of the venue, locking them inside and shut the whole thing down.

Fast forward eight months and along with Evan and Dani we were upstairs at the Garage experiencing them again. You have not experienced live music until you’ve seen this band, it’s not just the music though, it’s the experience, I’ve never seen a band get the whole audience involved like they do and you’re a fool if you miss them.

So, can their recorded output live up to their live show? Having picked up their latest album, Where Were You When It Happened?, at the Garage show I would say that I can’t separate the two, it’s just not possible to listen to this and not be reminded of just how incredible they are live. There’s nothing surprising on the record, eight tracks coming in at just over half and hour and a good representation of the musical side of what you’ll hear if you see them. The artwork on the LP is great with band bursting out of the flies of a pair of jeans with a delightful arse crack on the reverse.

Monotonix AMonotonix B

So thank you ATP, thank you Monotonix, just goes to show that after twelve years of going to gigs you can still be blown away by a random band live when you least exepct it.