Facebook Slider

The Orielles, The Scala, London

  • Published in Live

 

I'm leaning against the wall near the exit of The Scala, non-nonchalantly, looking at a coat hanger dangling three metres above the cloakroom window. It's hanging off a steel conduit run that traces the room, I can't help wondering how it got there. Lost in wonder I slowly start to realize that almost everyone in the foyer after party is staring at me, are they also pondering the coat hanger? Turns out they're curious for a different reason, the lights are going on and off. I've been leaning against the light switch triggering the chandelier house lights for a couple of minutes now, so much for blending in. I move away and watch someone else hole up in the now vacant (too good to be true) spot, I give them no warning and continue to float away pondering the coat hanger and The Orielles (@TheOrielles) performance I've just caught at The Scala's 20th Anniversary Party.           

Coming off my bike at speed down Caledonian Road I realize, too late, that the rear mudguard has come loose and locked up the back spokes of my bike. Fortunately it's garbage pick up for the local residents that evening and I land softly in a pile of discarded trash bags, you cannot make this up. Miraculously unscathed I pick myself up out of the trash and remove the remnants of the mud guard, turned mud offense, and kick my back tyre and rim into place, and we're off. I make it in time for doors open and clear security who after a pat down ask me what the ear plugs were for in my pocket, obviously you're not a golfer I think to myself. Clearing this minor obstacle I head to the bar where drinks are half price, I double-up and make my way to the stage. First up on the docket are Crewel Intentions (@CrewelIntent).

The members of this quintet have a motif that can only be described as a mashup of styles, predominantly Western Wear meets up-and-coming Mobster Foot Soldier, their duds move along nicely paired with their classic looking instruments and music with assured confidence to match. Only frontman Chilli Jesson (sounds like a name that has outstanding debts with bookies in Vegas) stands out in his leisure suit and white scuffed up brogans, most likely from kicking the shit out of the air and stage all night long, the man has bundles of energy throughout their performance. The band is in good spirits and Chilli's got energy with the moves to back up someone auditioning for Chippendales; running back and forth around the stage, jumping to and from the stage to barriers and making intense eye contact with those of us at the front when he's not jumping into their arms. Intense isn't the word I'd use for the contrast in riffs and twangs coming off the small slide guitar, keys during the set, they're great and wash over you like a Coen Brothers soundtrack. Their set finishes and I pick up my book (The Elephant Vanishes – Murakami) and crack open a chilly frothie between sets.

Juggling the book and the beer I'm enjoying at '90s prices along with the '80s hip-hop pumping out the speakers (JJ Fad – 'Ya Goin' Down') the crew setup for the main event. I see Henry's (lead guitar/backup vocals) head peak through the stage door. I catch his eye and give him the horns, he smiles and reciprocates in kind and the door closes. The crowd is elbow to elbow in chill anticipation but unlike the audience the stage is set with personal space in mind. I can't remember the stage setup at The Scala ever being so sparse but much like their last performance I caught in the Butlin's at Rockaway Beach the setup is spread out giving each member a comfortable space to play in but it's not alienating either. The Halifax natives putting the old H back on the map make their way onto the stage metaphorical Silver Dollars chiming loosely in their footsteps. They're all rockin' mid-'90s Smashing Pumpkins-era threads (trust me on this, I lived through it). Esmé's (Bass/Whistle/Vocals) look is Liv Tyler straight off the Tower Records poster and I'm wondering if it's rude to interrupt the set to ask Alex (Keys/Vocals) what model OG Reebok's he's wearing because they are legit as all get out (if you're reading this Alex I must know!). Not a minute lost and the gang is straight into it with 'Old Stuff, New Glass'. The stage throughout their set is a, jumping, nodding, dancing, and head tossing from side to side akimbo marathon, they sing and play with a joyful and carefree effervescence. All members (aside from Sid anchored on percussion) take turns visiting each other and spend their set chatting and smiling about inside jokes I'm so close to but not privy to hearing, frustrating I must take up lipreading! Henry, as per usual busts out the banter and a couple of guitar strings along the way, one on each guitar, but soldiers on. Alex not to be shown up destroys an instrument I can only assume is a cousin to the cowbell? Esmé and Sid retain intact their civility and instruments, good work ladies. The Orielles knock out a 13 track set in just over an hour. True to their word (see last interview) they've been writing during their downtime between tours (liminal space?) and lay a new single on the audience called, 'Sound Of' and end their set with 'Sugar Tastes Like Salt' no encore but a great track to finish off a solid set with.

Back in the foyer of The Scala which is packed with fans and members of both Crewel Intentions and The Orielles, I lean against a wall without a light switch for a change still having the coat hanger, and mystery there of, both literally hanging over me. It's been a great evening and the party looks far from being over with the bands mingling, smiling and chatting with friends and fans alike. I make a quiet exit and get a message on my way out from an acquaintance to check out instagram which is blowing up with news about The Social in central London. There's been a fundraising gig put on this very night by Wrangler with Yak/Shame and Talk Show on the bill that's saved the tiny venue with a massive history by raising the £95,000 necessary to keep the doors open. As The Orielles and myself are huge fans of the joint I thought it a fitting ending to the article and renewed lease on life for The Social.

 

Read more...

Impressions & Interviews From Rockaway Beach 2019 - Part Two

Breakfast Veggie Sausage/Pancake Overload - The Orielles 3.0

I woke up with a start from my editor in chief announcing it was breakfast time. Can't argue with that. In case I haven't rambled on enough about what all you can eat from the buffet each day, it was excellent. Well, aside from the pensioners avoiding the carefully laid out plastic tongs to serve themselves and instead use their meaty, fleshy, appendages instead. I noticed this only after my third helping on the last day, too late now! Upon getting yet another helping of veggie sausages and pancakes I noticed a slightly worse for wear Henry in the queue. As I'm without shame I thought I'd shimmy my way into the queue and chance a 'howdy'.

Cpt: Good morning Mr. Henry, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your set last night.

Henry: (drops ladle of beans for his toast with a start and readies himself for an attack) Oh hey, thanks man. Hey, aren't you the guy that said getting the setlist last night was your Silver Dollar Moment?

Cpt: The very same! Best venue in Toronto, or used to be.

Henry: Yeah, we were sad to see it go, have you ever been?

Cpt: Yeah, it was the place I first saw the now defunct 'Hot Springs' We'd travel 3 hours to get to that venue.

Alex walks by.

Henry: Hey Alex, what's your name (pointing to me)?

Cpt: Inner monologue 'Don't say Captian Stavros' Ca....Steven.

Henry: This is Steven!

Alex: Hey Steven.

Alex clearly wanted to start scarfing his breakfast, who am I to judge? I'd just downed 3 of them.

Cpt: I hear you (to Alex) ate a fuck-ton of these veggie sausages.

Alex: Veggie whaaaa?

Henry: That was actually me, I love them. My Mum only lets me have 3 so I kinda went out of control and had 8 or more yesterday.

Cpt: Wow, no judgment. I discovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 15 and ate them exclusively for every meal for an entire month.

Henry/Alex:...........

Cpt: I see you're wearing a Sport Team (to Alex) t-shirt, I saw them tear the Scala apart, a most excellent gig.

Henry/Alex: That was a great show! (Both start singing Sport Team songs at the top of their lungs).

At this point we parted ways so they could enjoy their breakfast but if you're reading this Henry and Alex I shot Sports Team a message and they said, 'send them our regards!'.

Squid (@squidbanduk)

I had missed Squid on Tuesday when they played the Old Blue Last. I'd mismanaged my time and only have myself to blame, but boy-howdy, do I regret it. Squid was the first act of the afternoon on the third day, you can imagine what I expected. Nothing. I was just there to get some pics for the blogs and hadn't even heard their stuff at this point. They rolled out on stage and from their first notes I was hooked.

Ollie and the boys cranked the fuck out of the tunes with lyrics like 'HOUSE PLANTS, HOUSE PLANTS, HOUSE PLANTS!' and 'Decoration is not behaviour!'. The music was all energy and colour and this had to have been the most energetic afternoon band of the whole weekend. The crowd was full of hungover dinosaurs but Squid got hoots and hollers from all the geriatrics. I wanted to grab a quick chin-wag with them but unfortunately they hightailed it out of Butlins as per their Insta-Story. I dropped them a line and I surprisingly got a pretty speedy response.

Cpt: Just caught your act, I'm doing a small thing for Muso's Guide, was wondering if you wanted to be in it? Really dug your sound and had some questions about your lyrics, what was your inspiration for 'decoration is not behaviour'?

Squid: The song is about a theory of mine that people our age buy houseplants as a means to distract themselves from how terrifyingly bleak our future is. May never be able to buy a house but we can rent on and fill it to the brim with houseplants.

Cpt: Sharp insight and can't fault your logic (I have in fact felt similar sentiments, guh, London). Pretty sure everyone would identify with the sentiments, I know I do. Can I quote you?

Squid: Of course!

Squid are playing The Lexington this Friday the 18th and the MOTH this month on the 26th. Check 'em out, you will NOT regret it, you WILL regret missing it. Ficus.

Art Brut (@eddieargos)

I've just been informed by my editor this article is due, like, tomorrow so brevity here I come. I checked out Art Brut before I hit Rockaway on the YouTubes. Sounded punkish with a lot of grit and spunk formed in 2005. Fast forward 13 years to a fat, and quite drunk by the looks of it, Eddie Argos. A too short button up shirt with a lot of jumping around and gut hanging out coupled with 5min+ ranty monologues. Jumped (slowly and very gently hopped off stage with a thud) and could not get back up without help from the security guard. End of review.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen (@officialbunnymen)

Do you eat the Olive on a tooth pick atop a comic sandwich first or last? In this case last. Echo and the hoppers took a well spaced stage with the confidence and grace that only rock and rollers that've seen it all can. Throughout their set they also spliced classic favourites like Lou Reed's 'Walk On The Wild Side' and The Doors' 'People Are Strange' (I'm not 100% it was this track even though I was singing it. Why am I this way?). It was the classic set, which even included 'The Killing Moon' the track that my generation discovered this group a-la Donnie Darko. Great lighting and sound and every song sounded like it was being recorded in studio's velvety tones. Observations during the set. Echo has a voice like an angel but when he's talking he's indecipherable. Will Sergeant, I have never seen a dude with more guitars at a gig, I lost count at 8. Weird dry bar on stage in front of the drum kit, from what I could see, consisted of:

Coconut Water

Apple Juice or Beer

Orange Juice or Orange Juice and Vodka

Milk/Milk Plus

A bottle of honey

Wet Naps

Moisturizer

All items were seemingly used and or drunk throughout the course of the gig. There was also a hand towel that was turned into a makeshift football and kicked into the audience. The audience fought over it and a man attempted to rip it out of a woman's hands (he couldn't manage it, you go girl!). With this the weekend came to a close. I can say one thing for certain, I'll never be the same again. I also bought a model of the H.M.S. Bounty at a thrift store for a fiver ( I talked them down from seven), all and all a great time!

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed