I missed Hannes set at Rodina on Friday and was glad to catch it at White Trash the following night. As he name checks John Peel on his Myspace page I don’t want to be mean. Hannes is a producer and works also with his band, Pitchtuner. He is here tonight at White Trash with his rockin’ guitar, beatbox and backing loops supporting Miss Ebony Bones.
His set opens with a sheet of loud sub Bloody Valentine guitar drone, performed head down in the spotlight but somehow it lacks conviction. Then the beat picks up and to everyone’s evident relief, given the non-committal ripple of applause, the frame shifts from third rate dirge to cut-price New Order.
Self-consciously 80’s beats are augmented with thrashed guitar, we get the Cure, Avalon era Roxy Music and the Scissor Sisters. The tunes are sweat and Hannes almost has the confidence to pull it off but attempts to get the crowd to sing along prove futile as they are already busy dancing, his voice is just too weak.
Miss Bones ( “What’s my name?” ) on the other hand, has no problems in that area. Hailing from South East London (as well as NewYork, Japan, Jamaica and, according to her bio, somewhere over the rainbow) Miss Bones is a Force majeure.
With Rat Scabies, formerly of the Dammed, acting as drummer, Miss Bones (“WHAT’S MY NAME?”) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and not, it has to be said, one of life’s blushing wallflowers. She is here for a second night at White Trash and lovin’ it.
Citing influences as diverse as the Siouxse Sioux and Five Star, this self described “Harry Potter with a vagina” , has a lot to live up to and down. The scene-kids, who thus far constitute her biggest fans, are notorious for their short attention spans and fickle affection for the new, newer, newest thing but make no mistake Miss Bones is going to make you forget you even ever heard of Lady Sovereign.
Storming the stage in a yellow feather headdress, she belts out the question and the crowd respond. Miss Bones clearly does not take prisoners. Backed by a suave ska trumpeter in a black felt top-hat and fantomas mask – a mean professional rock guitarist plucked straight from the streets of Camden and a pair of backing singers who, equipped with toot-flutes, whistles and ra-ra skirts, compete for the spotlight and abet Miss B in her incitement to riot.
Imagine Josephine Baker fronting Funkadelic, as superstar Grime DJ’s fight for control of the soundboard with King Tubby and one of Banksy’s smiley-faced grim reapers hands out the acid laced kool-aid. This is the sound of 21st century London, postmodern, multicultural, angry, fun and sexy as hell.
With all this talent in such a tiny place a catastrophic outbreak of dancing is inevitable. By the second or third number, a cover of the Delta 5’s perennial Mind Your Own Business augmented with a rapped chant of No Blacks! No Irish! No Dogs! – the vitriolic punk-funk/two-step mashup had claimed more than a few victims, demonstrating categorically that the smart kids in ’76 knew how to dance.
Your girlfriend don’t like me and I’m Ur Future X-Wife followed hot on its heels and like in a cartoon the applause o’ meter was beginning to melt. In a strobe of flash photography the audience were teased onto the stage for the final hi-energy number in order to leap around like kids raised on food colouring and held hostage in bouncy castle. In a set that felt way too short only because everyone was having such a good time, the shear fun being had by the band was matched only by the enthusiasm of the crowd’s response.
This was Miss Bones 1st visit to Berlin. She’ll be back!