Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dope Body + Blacklisters - Fulford Arms, York, September 11th 2015 (live review)

I'm not going to deny it, I absolutely bloody love Blacklisters. I've been battered about the ears by their slabs of inventive noise-rock more times than I recall and still I keep going back for more. They picked up a batton I thought was dropped and gone forever when early nineties alternative music became a distant memory of mine.  This low-key little gig in Fulford near York is very much an insight into a new chapter of theirs though. A set entirely consisting of new songs from forthcoming album 'Adult', barring the anthemic 'Trick Fuck' from their debut.

They wear their influences proudly upon their chests do these Leeds men, Big Black and Pissed Jeans to name but two. Set opener 'Shirts' certainly comes in with a mighty Pissed Jeans guitar swagger about it. Billy Mason-Wood looks as unkempt as ever, prowling back and forth across the front of the floor. 'Cash Cow' and 'I Knock Myself Out' are colossal two minute repeated punches to the face, each maintaining the dirtiest of grooves whilst fucking about outside of 4/4 time.

Perhaps the biggest compliment to pay them is just how 'Kong-heavy' some of these newly aired tracks are. The masked Manchester noise-creators and former label-mates seem to have rubbed up against Blacklisters and left a hefty scent judging by some of these first time listens live. A very good thing indeed. And then there's 'Big Ticker'... Guitar screams and slashes all over another heavy dose of menacing bass and drum rhythms, dark and brooding and, well, just buy the new album I guess. Trust me, you'll want it.
Baltimore's Dope Body are no less appealing and the fact they are only playing to such a small gathering is completely baffling. As always though, these kind of intimate nights feel like our own little well kept and guarded secret. Since our last encounter in Leeds three years ago, front-man Andrew Laumann certainly hasn't gained any pounds. he's soon stripped to the waist, writhing around like Iggy Pop in his heyday, playing out 'Road Dog' and the like from 'Natural History'.  Two more albums since then have been birthed in 'Lifer' and most recently the highly experimental 'Kunk'. They don't let time stand still for long don't Dope Body, recreating as they go. To the point I'm sure I hear 'Old Grey' from that recent long player but way faster than its original incarnation.

Frantic drumming and menacingly in sync with the bands bass player creates an off kilter infectious rhythm section as the bands backdrop, allowing all sorts of guitar trickery to run wild and such a diverse range of powerful noises from one amp is unlikely to be repeated anywhere else on this current rock circuit. It's the completely committed-to-the-cause front-man who demands your attention though. Inciting those within touching distance to be flailing about with him, and generally not letting up for a mere moment of the entire set, with not a whiff of pretense to any of the showmanship. By the time they decide on one final number in 'Nu Sensation', he looks completely spent. 
Good work Please Please You promoter people on this exceptional night of frantic noise.

Words - Pete Jackson

Dope Body facebook
Blacklisters official
Fulford Arms official