Monday, March 14

Another bloody gig review - Art Brut & Neil's Children @ The Nottingham Social
London art-punk trio Neil’s Children had brush with fame when they made a cameo appearance in BBC2’s recent 1970s set drama series The Rotters Club. It was an astute piece of casting as their sound is heavily influenced by the late 70s post-punk sound.

The band’s sound is made up of staccato drums, driving bass, buzzsaw guitars and the yelping vocals of John Linger, bringing to mind a young Robert Smith or The Rapture’s Luke Jenner.

Early singles ‘Come Down’ and ‘I Hate Models’ attack you from the speakers with merciless intent, stabbing guitars and memorable lyrics.

As the set progresses their well chosen influences are further revealed. Gang Of Four, Wire and Public Image Limited are all thrown into the mix.

Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos makes an early appearance as he joins the band for their last song, before a mini outbreak of chaos takes hold. The bassist jumps into the crowd and vocalist Linger is dragged in after him. It’s an impressive display from the still fledgling band. I instruct you to keep your eyes on them.

The Brut are all about blurring boundaries between fans and band, but not by pretending to still be like their fans, but by getting their fans to be like them. “No more songs about crack and being poor” declares Argos in a clear dig at fellow London bands The Others and Babyshambles, before joining the crowd in a spot of pogoing during an instrumental break.

They’re a motley collection of characters. The guitarist looks like an accountant, the drummer stands up behind his kit to play whilst wearing a flat cap. And then there’s Argos, the art punk Tony Slattery, quipping his way through their already extensive back catalogue (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

There’s a touch of the Jarvis, as his deadpan delivery is augmented by on the spot lyrical changes and ad libs. “And yes this is my singing voice” he informs his critics, on the equally anthemic and hilarious ‘Formed A Band’.

Each song contains at least one memorable sing-a-long lyrical couplet. Or in the case of ‘Modern Art’, the entire lyrics are unforgettable. It’s the best song ever about dancing in an art gallery. Fact.

There’s been a lot of hype about this band and they could just as easily be the next Ultrasound as the next Pulp, but they’ve got an intelligence and a knowing cynicism that sets them apart.

“Haven’t read the NME for so long, Don’t know in what genre we belong” sings Argos in ‘Bad Weekend’. For a second you almost believe him.

As the night is about to end, the chant goes around the Social…

“Art Brut, Top of The Pops, Neil’s Children, Top of the Pops, Art Brut, Top of The Pops, Neil’s Children, Top of the Pops”.

Surely it’s only a matter of time…

Listen to Art Brut
Formed A Band MP3
Modern Art MP3