To celebrate the release of The Hands of the Wrong People’s “Spring Flakes” a party was convened at West Germany. Braving the heat the audience was first treated to a selection of short songs by Getting Up Every Morning, who’s project consists of a song a day to keep the blues at bay.
These short studies in despair, rarely longer than a couple of minutes and played on an electric guitar occasionally accompanied by a xylophone, painted touching vignettes of everyday sadness. Distracted, melancholy notes to self, agoraphobic anecdotes from a man whose friends entreat him, ‘not to hide’ as ‘outside, it’s a wonderful world’.
Erste Stufe Haifisch followed this delicate, if slightly wearing, introspection with a brilliant set of swirving math rock collisions between Portishead and Sonic Youth. Hardcore riffs emerged out of spazz jazz non-chords, two note melodies and powerful, drumming underpinned by an ever sinuous bass in turn complimented, contradicted and sometimes overruled by a dodgy looking analogue synth and skittering, eccentric vocals.
“Let us create desire,” sung Katrin Plavcakand using a relatively conventional set of musical elements (and fiendishly ambitious arrangements) they certainly did. The 60’s cinema soundtrack moves favored by Portishead found reconciliation with the ghost punk, noh wave anti-stylings of noise rock as, on Unbewusst, Katrin Plavcak, cackled and sobbed her way to a mock nervous breakdown. This was the Haifisch’s first gig in Berlin, Dorfdisco looks forward to their next.
In the wrong hands, consists of Dominic Hislop, who plays guitar and writes and sings, Pius Fox on bass and Robert Wiesner, on drums. Despite an apparently sabotaged string they affected a confident and sunny, harmonic guitar pop sound which nodded toward post-Postcard singer songwriter territory and soared into occasional over tasteful anthems.
Looking somewhat like a younger (and more handsome) Billy Bragg, complete with bowling shirt, Hislop’s confident performance was belied by modest, between song self-depreciation and was applauded warmly by the heat exhausted crowd.