Bristol’s endearingly wacky outfit brought the ceiling down in gloriously country-punk fashion
It was only on a whim that I asked my buddy Isaac to come along to Falmouth for the show that CLUNK had put on. After Zine 002‘s life affirming launch night, in which Murman‘s punkabilly coolness had all manner of Falmothian folk hashing it out in a gleeful push pit, it seemed mad not to take up the next possible opportunity to step back into the four warm walls of the Uni town’s best venue to see what else could be on offer. I felt utterly compelled to take one of my Plymothian compatriots with me to the far reaches of the land of Corn and Walls to show them what gigs can really be; lo and behold, not a week before the show I stumbled across an ad for Langkamer‘s headliner show, and within moments the tickets were booked.
As it happened, neither myself nor my hot date had any clue what we were getting ourselves in for. Having heard no material from any of the bands (a mistake that has since been amended, rest assured), we were going in totally blind. Ever been to a show with no idea what’s in store? As somebody who has done exactly that for the past two gigs I’ve attended, I utterly implore you to try it: a complete lack of preconception and expectation makes for one hell of an experience. Speaking of which…
If you asked me to describe opening act Mothman, The Man in a word, I wouldn’t know what else to do other than smile and suggest you book yourself a slot at their next show. They possess a genre-bending mixture of songs, the styles of which range from all corners of the spectrum of guitar music, making for an utterly surreal but affirming experience. They ended up a perfect opener to the night! The wandering nature of their songwriting allowed for a total letting-go of musical expectation.
Through thickets of indie rock and forests of thrash, we meandered through meadows of mid west emo, over gullies of grunge and ended jauntily at Breakdown Beach. The set was spectacular in its own right, giving both myself and my hot date a real sense of nostalgia for long-past times we ourselves spent in our respective bands.
It suddenly struck me how communal how universally lovestruck the crowd was at this show. There was some form of pink cloud floating above us, it seemed: left and right were friends and couples, laughing and embracing, people of all creeds coming together for catch ups with smiles ear to ear, their merriness no doubt spurred on by the drink but no less authentic for it. Whilst Sweet Juno plugged in and prepared for their performance, more and more people flocked into the ever-growing gaggle at the foot of the stage, awaiting the next set with open arms and joyous hearts.
The sweet, sparkly twee inspired indie rock outfit fit the scene with absolute perfection. Something reminiscent of The Moldy Peaches felt channeled through them, with a modern twist. They’re not unlike the fruit salad I’m eating as I write this – full of colour, flavour and fun, with a zingy citrussy twist that revitalises your taste buds and leaves you feeling very fresh indeed. The bassist/singer’s cute cardigan and endearingly polite address to the audience reminded me of Michael Cera in Juno, the white leather knee high boots of the guitarist painted pictures of Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
Sweet Juno brought a warmth to the room, an earthy set of pastel tones that grounded spirits and melted hearts as the four fun-loving misfits dedicated a half hour of their day to lifting our spirits. Wholly endearing and well worth another watch.
Langkamer. What can you say other than they blew our socks off. From the second the jitterbug-inducing fizz of ‘Humdinger’ lifted the air, it’s distinctive clickety clack percussion a bright tonic after the sweet haze we’d been left with, my boot was stomping along of its own accord. It gets into your body, the energy these guys give off. With utter self assurance and a coolness that even John Wayne would step aside for, they openly invited us all to shed our inhibitions and inebriate in the excitement of the country-punk party they brought along for the ride. The drummer-gone-vocalist’s vibe was, in all aspects, that of Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek – at first kooky and ridiculous, then becoming oddly addictive. The self awareness of Oliver Tree came through too, too-small sunglasses donning the bassist and guitarist who bobbed along with their oddish haircuts and lanky frames, as if The Shadows had been dropped into a Scooby-Doo cartoon.
Push pits danced alongside crowd surfing guitar solos, all of us in complete euphoria. Not a single track of their set was out of place, no matter how zany or unexpected. Something was in the air and had everybody on a mad one. Even Isaac had the devil in him, his relaxed and stoic frame becoming that of a possessed goat, shoving me headlong into the madness as Ugliest Man In Bristol‘s unmistakable screaming riff pierced the air. Any matter of sense was long gone by the time the set came to a close and had everybody unanimously agreeing that The Cornish Bank has, once again, utterly outdone itself.
None of it would have been possible if it weren’t for the people of CLUNK & BYP putting this show, and all others, on. If you see CLUNK advertising a show, no matter how far you gotta travel, you simply have to come. It’s been two life altering experiences a row , and I say that with the utmost sincerity.
Big ups to the South West. Clunk 4 lyf.
Check out our highlights of the night here: