Tonight’s sparse crowd isn’t helped by The Lexington’s weird décor – a mix of Auntie Mabel wallpaper and Bowells of a Steam Ship that still manages to boast a decent stage area and a thunderous PA playing Devo –certainly enough to engage our hipster radars from the get-go.
Plenty of pre-gig buggering about on our part means we miss openers Grave Architects, (but check ‘em out here anyway!) so are initially put in a bad mood by the trying too hard indie antics of Lost Infantry.
First rule of stagecraft: Treat the audience like the dogs they are. They aren’t interested in your in-jokes and self effacing banter. Second rule? Well, not mixing Yes guitar lines with a Dexy’s influence is probably a good one…
The trouble with LI is they just try too hard. Decent musicianship is hidden behind unnecessary tub-thumping, while a love of 80s Bowie causes several uneven time changes that tear apart the shouty choruses. Unsure if they want to be ColdPlay or the Ordinary Boys, the band practice spaz dancing, overly sincere emoting and swop songwriting for hairstyles.
Next up it’s Danish export Bodebrixen, and watching them set up fills DT with deep worry. They wear the type of skinny jeans that give you a deformed package and matching stripy tops that seem to have crawled in pissed from Vice Magazine’s Do’s and Don’ts column. The bass player (what is it with bass players? Lemmy never had this problem) sports matching red cardigan and socks –and no shoes, while white jeans with turn-ups have us heading for the bar to avoid the inevitable simpering Euro-emo.
We needn’t have worried.
While they conform to every Scando stereotype in the book, Bodebrixen pull of some of the cleverest, most joyous indie on the planet. Parping keyboards and lush vocal harmonies mean they come off like every funny memory of Eurovision you ever had with just a touch of Magic Numbers feelgoodosity bunged in for good measure. There are balloons, there is confetti – there’s even something resembling a lunch break, but it takes genuine talent to play a set that incorporates whistling, humming, whoa-whoa’s and happy clapping and still seem cool.
Childish and whimsical but undeniably fun, grin inducing songs and amusing Uropee-an intros “This next song used to be a Christmas song…but its not a Christmas song anymore” may be put on but add to the performance A tambourine crown of thorns and hints of Paris jazz – albeit filtered through a 1982 Casiotone – mean Bodebrixen are onto a winner with their parping pop anthems that remain crass but resolutely inoffensive in the best possible sense, the perfect soundtrack to a prawn cocktail and Kiev dinner party.