Thursday, 17 December 2009

681 IDLEWILD, Harlem Shakes, Mutilated Mannequins, Los Angeles Boardners, CA USA, Wednesday 12 October 2005

The final gig of our honeymoon and 3rd of 3 for Idlewild! Got a pizza on the way over then hit the venue, just off Hollywood Boulevard, just before 10. Had to return to the car to dump my camera as I wasn't allowed to take it in - a damned shame, as it turned out!

This was a seriously weird venue - 2 indoor rooms pumping out alt. rock, but the gig itself was in the courtyard outside! The stage was set up in the corner, a couple of large tarpaulins suspended between the trees shielded us from the elements, and we sat around an ornamental pond in the middle. Odd!

However the venue itself was out-weirded by first support Mutilated Mannequins, who turned out to be quite the worst band we'd seen for a very very long time! A 3-piece consisting of two very bad transvestites and one actual woman, they peddled a form of dirge-like electro pop. However what made them so unbearable was the black "vocalist" - his voice was unimaginably horrible, both nasal and grating, out of key and like a cat going through a mangle. No-one clapped at all after one song, and at one point I looked in desperation at the sound guy behind the mixing desk, who just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. That's how bad they were!

It couldn't get any worse after that, and the Harlem Shakes, next up, were an improvement, although they were a clumsy Killers rip-off, all suit jackets and pseudo-funky dance-rock beats. They finished with "Sickos", easily their best number, but didn't leave that much of an impression.

So, just before midnight (as we'd started to flag a little), an eager compere hopped onstage to introduce Idlewild to "Club Moscow"(?). Idlewild themselves were clearly, erm, "well-refreshed", and ready to kick some ass, and opened with a thrashy, unhinged version of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated"! "So you're in that kind of mood, are you?" I shouted at Roddy as he launched into "I Am What I Am Not", and also launched into the audience, singing this and most of the subsequent set from the floor, barely feet from us!

"I like it down here, I think I'm going to stay here!" quoth Rod, as the band, onstage, ranted through a punk rock set of oldies. Visceral, fast, unhinged, raggedy-arsed and messy as all heck, everything they're not able to be in the UK, this was thrilling "live" rock'n'roll!

Complimented the boys afterwards before we hit the road. It's been a total pleasure to have Idlewild provide the soundtrack to our honeymoon!

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