|Venue:||Carnivale - Whitechapel, London.|
London can be a right Royal pain in the arse, being a Northerner; I usually have to have a pretty good reason to put myself through it. I think I found one! Rumour Cubes and Minion TV are playing at the Carnivale, an intimate little venue in the East End. So on to a tube, off again, onto a bus and we managed to find the place in one piece. The atmosphere is relaxed almost as if it were someone’s living room, I looked around, grabbed a drink and perched myself on the arm of a big old leather chair up near the front to wait.
I accidentally stumbled across these two bands whilst looking for gigs in London; I liked their names so I checked out their websites. I went onto the Rumour Cubes website and downloaded their free 3-track EP and instantly fell in love with them. Reading through their info and becoming aware who their influences were, I was pretty confused and a little ashamed I had not heard of them before, where have I been? Minion TV are a five-piece instrumental band from Liverpool and where the first band to perform. They took to the stage never really looking ready to start, sorting and checking things but started all the same. I noticed this throughout the set, a real rawness to the way they play, yeah we were watching a band but it felt like we were really watching them work, the concentration, their passion, the significant little tweaks and perfecting touches were magical to watch, no time for egos here. After listening to their album several times prior to the gig I found their recorded sound wasn’t really representative to the enormity of the live sound these guys produced. To my surprise though, Battleships was played very early in the set but not to any disappointment of course. My face was lit up like the drummers’, whose constant grin from ear to ear just made me smile the whole way through. My heart was pounding my eyes were wide open trying to absorb what each member of the band was doing whilst at the same time fascinated by the extremely fitting visuals, kaleidoscopes, sunshine, bullets smashing their way through objects, every visual clip perfectly partnered with the mood of the song.
The band was quite dynamic and had a real interactive edge swapping between Synth and actual bass with ease. In the same way they showed their ability to change the mood, when they played their penultimate track, the enchanting Sigur ros like sound of Skyways are Highways. Beautifully moving as the bass player sat on the floor, all their eyes are closed captivating the audience completely. A very quiet band, they didn’t say much until the first and last words were uttered, ‘This is our last song.’ My heart sank; they haven’t played Robot Meets Girl… Until now!
The atmosphere changed all of a sudden, I am not sure if it was just me crashing back down to earth or it was the sheer excitement in the room knowing that there was something extraordinary about to happen. Six of them slowly but surely start to invade the stage and started to set up all their equipment, electric violins, electric violas, electronic drum pads there was even a joystick. Eventually all ready and waiting in a line like passengers at a tube station reminiscent of many I had been stood in that day; cheerful and smiling they begin with The University is a factory. Intently listening to the drums, violins and guitars amalgamate while the bass waits to introduce itself. I must say I have always had a soft spot for the bass and once my eyes have stopped darting around the stage like an excited whippet, this is usually where they come to rest. This particular bassist kept me fully entertained with his awesome five string bass, fun loving personality and his fantastic bass lines that for me just make this song. Even though his strap came loose and his bass slipped it still didn’t stop him, he was brilliant and just kept smiling. A couple of mishaps happened throughout the set, which did not faze any of them. They did not stop playing and the audience did not stop admiring. The second song of this set was Rain On Titan accompanied by some interesting visuals by a girl named Abbey and was nicely acknowledged by the band at the end of the song. Minion TV also received a massive thank you, which was also charming.
Throughout the set the girls were wonderful, it is always nice and somewhat refreshing to see girls in a Post-Rock band or any band for that matter and not only that, girls who can play their instruments well, being a vital part of this bands sound its hard to take your eyes off them. At Sea was next, Ahh, I had been waiting for this one. They began to play and a feeling of total content washed over me, I had butterflies, teary eyes and could feel my heart beating, just a beautiful, beautiful song!
They performed a song I did not recognize where a special guest Steve Willey recited a poem, which added a whole new level of intricacy to the music. They also performed a new song with a different feel, more experimental and diverse where they swapped between different time signatures and slowly stopped so they could fade back in one at a time. This is where the violin and viola were making sinister sounds, the drum pads making the beats and the joystick for the synth control; it was all a bit crazy, a good crazy though. I am definitely looking forward to hearing more of that! They finished and thanked everyone for making an effort to come and see them. So I threw in a quick congrats to them as we were leaving and made my way off into the night.
Posted: Mon 31 January 2011