Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

@ Leeds, The Faversham 26th August

The Grates

While the majority are sleeping in tents in a big field near Leeds, I have a much more exciting prospect in the form of Voxtrot to entertain me.

Considering it is the music festival weekend, there are a surprising amount of people around but this maybe owes a lot to the evenings line up, fresh from music journalists ‘next big thing’ columns. That being said I’m obviously not really in touch with it, because my main reason was the fresh faced Texans and their musical prowess for writing some of the insanely catchy indie pop tunes at the moment.

The Hot Puppies are Welsh and mentioned as the new Pulp by some broadsheets. This would appear to be tenuous, apart from the fact both are in fact band. However they aren’t helped by the sound which renders the vocals almost useless. Now I said almost useless, because I hear enough to form the opinion that the band are in fact wishing that they were Gwen Stefani (however that is possible, turning five band members into one). This isn’t a bad thing but with the less than clear sound the Hot Puppies do little to inspire and impress.

Now I’ve already mentioned the sole reason for being there, but before you get worried that this is going to turn into a fan saying how amazing Voxtrot are, it’s not because personally I found them to be a little disappointing. Now don’t get me wrong, when you open a set with ‘Mother, Sisters, Daughters and Wives’ and then proceed to back it up with an even more impressive array of catchy songs (including a new one that’s going to be on an upcoming single) it is hard to fault. However hampered with the lumbering sound and a relatively small collection of songs, neither of which are their fault, it was a tad short of what I expected. It’s funny how it works though, my friend and I (another ardent Voxtrot fan) agreed that it was just okay but my other two friends who just came along loved it. Voxtrot are a good band and have the songs to back up the hype, but today it would appear I was just being too fussy.

So up next were the Grates. And a lot of balloons. You may have caught the Grates ‘experience’ on any of the recent Zutons shows and if you have then you will probably agree with me when I say that the word that best describes is bonkers. Moulding the spiky punk bits of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and possibly Be Your Own Pet with a dash of grunge you have a band that in lead women Patience (there possibly couldn’t be a more ironic name for her) would bounce of the walls if physically possible. They do, do the whole two minute song thing well but there is a limit to how long before it does start to get a bit repetitive and grate. The ace that they hold is the performance they put on, even if you don’t like them musically I defy anyone not to smile whilst watching them. They are completely mad but it’s a welcome commodity, my words can’t do it justice, you need to see it for yourself.

Listen:

Hot Puppies www.myspace.com/thehotpuppies
Voxtrot www.myspace.com/voxtrot
The Grates www.myspace.com/thegrates