Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The Cockpit - 01/04/06 (Live Review)


Sometimes there is a beauty in just going to gigs without really knowing what a band sounds like.

Sure I’d heard a couple of tacks and liked what small bits I’d heard but I didn’t really know what to expect which probably is a good way to describe the Guillemots. Weird, unconventional, unpredictable, improvisational and for the most part unplayable for mainstream radio are just some of the adjectives that I can use. It isn’t surprising then, that the best moments of the show are when they let loose in a cacophony of noise and improvisation. As well as beating the hell out of an empty celebration tin with a wooden spoon or handing out bean bags to shake of course.

For a band that has released some very good EPs that have been acclaimed but not really to a wide base of success, the sold out sign at the entrance probably has a part to do with new single ‘We’re Here’ (that doesn’t feel like the proclamation that it maybe should midway through the gig) and the internet buzz that is being gathered. Trying to describe what they sound like is similar to the ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question. Perhaps the best way to put it is that they sound like what you would expect a motley crew with a lead singer A.K.A Fyfe Dangerfield, a Brazilian Guitarist with a heavy-metal background, a Canadian double bassist with jazz learning’s and a Scottish drummer who looks like he’d be more apt at the highland toss would sound like.

I arrive just as Dangerfield is taking the stage and starts to play and sing on his keyboard with such verve and gentleness that people like Ben Folds and Damien Rice would take notice of. He is both at home with this focus and with singing along to the more boisterous tracks like ‘Made Up Lovesong #43’ or the ever so slightly LCD Soundsystem’s sounding ‘She Evil’ which as a closer is a slight anti climax.

The rest of them then file on stage, loudspeakers in hands and proceed to rip through a mixture of tracks but the beauty is the continuity and the experimental-ness of the sounds and noises they create. The whole gig is not so much about the songs but the atmosphere, because the Guillemots really live to just make music. This may not translate well into mega stardom but it does equal something rather special.