Theoretical Girl and captivation

Blank Generation Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Minus Jack, Napoleon III, Just Handshakes (We're British) and Theoretical Girl & The Equations Blank Generation Disco at 1 in 12 Club, Bradford

Spikes are always welcome in young bands and Minus Jack are fresh faced and ready to make interesting noises. Having gone some distance in the short career they have to date they played the second stage of Kendal Calling in the summer they are a rare mix of confidence with a youthful naiveté.

Guitars thrashed in pleasing ways later Napoleon III takes to the stage in front of a four track and behind a set of three microphones offering his first missive about how what he does is not his proper job, it just pays the bills to which we assume he means a day job and not playing live.

That said Napoleon III seems perturbed about something - imagine a really grumpy version of The Voluntary Bulter Scheme on a really grumpy day - so perhaps he does find the music a grind. Certainly it is cathartic with him growling at times sinking his songs under layers of noise.

It is well performed with one man making an impressively loud sound and - in a way - crafted. I would never say that Napoleon III was not good but the experience of listening and watching is - to me - repulsive. Napoleon III accurately gets over what is in his head to the audience but I'm not sure I welcome such a vex to my mind.

Lacking spikes and vexment are Just Handshakes (We're British) who are enjoyable but somewhat forgettable. They show the influences routed in Swedish twee pop but lack a modulation in what they do. The first song sounds good, the second like the first and so on.

More individuality can be found in Theoretical Girl who headlines the late running gig with an all too brief run through tracks from her album Divided which playfully narrate the odd tale of unrequited love with the Girl herself Amy switching between keyboard and guitar. There are many women doing singer/songwriter - indeed this site had praised at length Blue Roses and things that Florence's Lungs are worth a listen - and Theoretical Girl sit alongside those being more wry than the one and smarter than the other.

Theoretical Girl convinces with a sturdy performance that lacks any fake self-effacement and flashes with confidence. It seems to be the music of someone playing and singing exactly what she wants, a captivating thing.

Written By Michael Wood Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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