I'm en route tonight to meet some Trash People at Electric Brixton AKA Cherry Glazerr (@CherryGlazer). A few months ago I got my head out of the sand and got switched onto this 21-year-old LA terror of the fretboard. Scrolling through Pitchfork's 'New Album Releases' a few months earlier I glimpsed the cover for Stuffed & Ready and thought who or what was channeling this Dusty Springfield/Courtney Love hybrid? Enter Clementine Creevy on the cover having her cake and eating it to. I gave the album a whirl and liked what I heard, so I dug deeper. A succession of increasingly well produced albums with a variety of sound.
If you think it's impressive that Clembutt AKA Cherry Glazerr AKA Clementine Creevy is a 21 globetrotting rockater with three albums under her belt already, hold onto your butts. Not only has she been touring nationally and globally over the past 2 years but she's been flippin' demos online since she was 15. I'm pretty sure puberty was still my main concern at that age (or the lack thereof). I gleaned most of this info about Clem from a mini-doc by Vice which I was so impressed by that I'm including a link to it here for your to peruse at your leisure. We learn that luck as much as talent had to do with her recent success, she almost didn't respond to Burger Records who reached out to her about the demos she posted on Soundcloud. When asked about this she laughs saying, "and that would've been a mistake ahahahahah". This LA light-hearted sub zero chill transfers on stage, more on that later. There's a bit of home movie footage catching Clem yelling, "COME ON LET'S ROCK N ROLL", not much has changed. The footage echoes my gig notes, 'natural talent, born performer'.
Now in the venue I swing by the merchandise booth. Pastel pink and powder blue boy-cut briefs as far as the eye can see with Cherry Glazerr splashed across them. I'm good though I just picked up a few new pairs of unmentionables a couple of weeks ago. Good selection of goods though, maybe the best I've seen in a while. There's something for everyone pins, stickers, records, prints, shirts and the aforementioned undies, she knows her people. I get to the stage and pass the time chatting with a pair of music vets in their early 60s who's conversation I eavesdropped and shoehorned my way into. One's a Biker looking leather jacket daddy who's talking to an accountant type and reminiscing about the Yak (@yakband) gig he was at in Oxford a few nights ago. Maybe the easiest small talk I've made in weeks, pretty enjoyable way to pass the time before the gig.
Opening acts complete, a sparse stage is laid out with massive gaps between the instruments. It brings the Orielles setup to mind, minus the keys except for in the background a roadie inflates a giant pair of cherries about 2 meters tall. Behind me I notice an equally sparse setup audience-wise, main floor isn't packed and the balcony is barren. Tonight's show was a sold-out gig, which I found weird considering CG's on her third album and second UK tour having even appeared on Radio 6. Her publicity game and online presence are stronger having modeled for Saint Laurent and even doing a bit of acting, my point is people are aware, so what's the deal? There are a few of London's own playing around town tonight, maybe that's the case?
Around quarter after nine Clem and the band strut out arms extended and waving asking if we're ready to rock as she drops into some pre-set squats wearing a huge smile. They start the set off with 'Ohio' the opening track off Stuffed & Ready. I'm about three meters from Clem, gig wise that's really arm's length. It helps me take in her stage presence, where as stated previously I recognize her as a natural performer instantly. In my mind she was always meant to be on stage, it's her element and she's 100% in it. She's come out with a swagger worthy of Jagger. She shred's on her frankenguitar which is missing pick-ups, tone knobs and pick-up selector, it's more like an extension of her body than an instrument. She's not just 'technically' good at what she does, she's a natural. She romps around the stage headbanging, stompin' and kickin' never missing a note. She doesn't stop to solo or climb the fret-board she's all over the stage. It's not a matter of practice makes perfect, I've been walking my whole life and I still look like an idiot doing it, she's been born to do this. You get a sense that when Clem play's she leaves whatever's going on in her life at the door, her playing style is loose, relaxed and fun, envy inducing to watch. There's no weight or chip to speak of on her shoulders, she's free. Her strumming style changes from loose wristed up and down strokes like on her second song of the evening, 'Had Ten Dollaz' to hammering those down strokes later in her set on 'Wasted Nun', a tune with darker, harsher tones and crackin' fuzz. She ends her set with 'Told You I'd Be With The Guys' which is a solid rock tune riddled with excellent PTSD inducing fret slides resembling an electric carpet bombing. The atmosphere of the gig felt a lot like I was just horsing around with some ole chums, a shoulder checks and butt bump smorgasbord.
Downsides, there were a few. I dug the sparse setup but former member Sasami (who's gone solo rather than rogue) really filled the sound out, something to consider. Clem's not only a superb guitarist her vocals and lyrics are on equal par. 'Creevy's unique vocals - alternating from dreamy to high-pitched, hostile and unforgiving - and for its cynical, witty lyrics' (Wikipedia). The only drawback? When you can't hear them that's all you can really think about which completely detracts from the experience. Major fuck-up by the sound engineer. Between her PA and earpiece I'm sure she couldn't hear the audience yelling throughout the set, 'we love you Clementine but we can't hear you!' myself included. Nearly three quarters through the hour+ set this was rectified but too little too late. A couple of half-aborted mosh-pit attempts during chill tunes by a few dudes with Jagermeister on their breath, (skiers am I right?) didn't help either.
That aside, a great gig I'd totally recommend seeing her live, if not for the music (which will fucking get you whether you like it or not) to see the spectacle that is her live show. Whipping around her guitar chord like a makeshift lasso. Taking a break and laying flat on the stage while convulsing as she belts out notes or how about kissing her 'guns' after asking her audience, 'are you trash people? I'm trash people' in appreciation of her own talent (deservedly so) and launching into another shredfest, she's (certainly) a wild one.