Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar hosted a great midweek package of some of the noisiest and most exciting bands around playing three of the shortest sets possible. Intended openers The Witches take this brevity to the extreme by not actually showing up, which is a shame as their surf-grunge looks worth checking out.
As the first group takes to the stage, it appears that Graham Coxon, Nick Zinner and some guy in a mask have formed a band, but this turns out to be Sealings, who strangely sound as if Graham Coxon, Nick Zinner and some guy in a mask had formed a band. Incoherent distorted vocals over walls of guitar fuzz like an even dirtier Times New Viking or The Jesus And Mary Chain falling down the stairs. The spaces between songs, usually reserved for applause is filled with howls of feedback as guitars are swapped and casually abandoned on the floor. Relentlessly abrasive, the whole thing is over in a matter of minutes and the crowd is left thinking, what just happened?
Up next are Bitches, a London duo on a mission to redefine the term drum and bass. Despite the lack of guitars they make an impressive hook laden racket, with singer Blake’s almost-metal screaming vocals sounding like the voices in his head escaping into the microphone. Close your eyes and you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a four or five piece band, the sound they create is anything but minimal. Between song banter between Blake and drummer Staz is bizarrely hilarious, audience members get kissed, and all the while a small model of E.T. dressed as a lady looks on from atop the bass amp. Another lightning fast set that leaves the crowd wanting more, and if any more proof of their greatness is required, they sell t-shirts with monkeys on them for a fiver. Bargain!
Norwich’s Fever Fever top the night off with yet another micro-set full of riot grrl punky snottiness. This time, with no bass in sight, Ellie and Rosie provide an all out guitar assault whilst drummer Smit hurtles through the set at breakneck speed. Treating the gig as a laid back conversation with the audience, the girls lull you into a false sense of security before revealing their inner psychopathic tendencies. Despite calls for an encore the band leave the stage after one of the shortest headline sets I’ve ever seen, telling the crowd, “that’s the lot, we’ve not got any more!” They’re back in town for the Great Escape, so hopefully they’ll have some more by May.