This gig took place in an upstairs room in a pub around the back of Guys Hospital in South London. The venue is tiny but the sound quality in the room was excellent; far better in fact than venues such as The Hammersmith Apollo where a recent Mogwai gig was spoilt because the sound balance was dreadful.
My mate Jim and I booked up for this gig several weeks ago as we are both Telescopes fans of old, I last saw them in about 1992 in Notre Dame Hall just off of Leicester Square headlining a evening that included The Golden Section (fronted by Paul Tunkin of Weekends and Blow Up Records fame) and the wonderful Slowdive. I remember them being very loud and raucous. They have changed personnel a lot since then and I went to this gig more for reasons of nostalgia than anything else as I know that there recent stuff is now minimalist and droney rather than being anything structured. In any case a nightmare with the band timings meant that The Telescopes didn't go on until 10:50 so we ended up seeing about 10 minutes before having to leave.However it was still one of the best nights at a gig all year though because I heard the music of two incredibly good bands for the first time.
First up were Brentford's One Unique Signal. They are just what I like in a band, rhythmic, noisy guitars and repetitive loops. All very shoegazey and marvellous. They remind me of Spacemen Three, Joy Division (vocally at least) and the much missed and might Loop. We were given a free copy of their excellent 2007 album "Tribe Castle and Nation" which seeing as it was only a fiver to get in was extremely generous. They filled the room with a fantastic aural onslaught and I for one can't wait to see them again.
This is a track from their latest EP Dismemberment. It is called Bishops (thanks to Nick from OUS for the link to the download).
One Unique signal were followed by the equally fantastic Aspen Woods. The Woods mix psychedelia, shoegaze and a marvellous brand of Byrds like jangly rock into their sound.They are a band who obviously enjoy playing live and have honed their performance very carefully so it is tight, musical and memorable, as well as containing some damn good wig outs. There is nothing like a good dose of loud guitars with loads of fuzz box, reverb, and flange to satisfy the mind and soul in my book and both Aspen Woods and One Unique Signal provide them by the bucket load.
Aspen Woods also have an excellent album out. Called "New World Disorder" it has featured pretty heavily on my iPod this week and has become one of my favourites of 2008.