Thursday, 29 July 2010

408 THE LLAMA FARMERS, SEAFOOD, Oxford Zodiac, Saturday 19 June 1999

I was up for this intriguing double-header, featuring a couple of immensely promising spiky young Brit bands, but a pint of Old Speckled Hen in the Bullingdon Arms beforehand certainly didn't hurt either! We got into the venue just before Seafood were due to come on, and piled down the front for this promising new band. Seafood joined us onstage at 9.10 with a riot of colour, a flash of choppy guitar and piles of enthusiasm. They've been compared to Sonic Youth, but I heard a lot of Wedding Present and even the wonderful Close Lobsters in their music, with its' ferociously fast jangle, and nagging, sinister melodic bent. That is, I "heard" this while I was hurling myself around in the mosh with ridiculously gay abandon! A superb spiky set, which climaxed with the brilliantly insistent "Porchlight" with its' naggingly catchy hookline, "there's a house on the lake..." Complimented the blond-haired bassist afterwards, who stressed their love of melody. Hey, don't we all...

The dreadfully named Llama Farmers came on at 10.15 to a surprisingly enthusiastic welcome, and regaled us with an intriguing and angular set, drawn from their new album. I enjoyed the flying shrapnel-like guitar riffs and the understated vocals, but apart from faster stuff like "Jessica", they're off-kilter rhythmically and difficult to dance to, which made them suffer in comparison to the excellent Seafood. Another band who sound slightly out of time (they'd have been at home nicely in the early 90's, with the shoegazing crowd), they have a lot of promise but didn't quite do it for me tonight. Better when they supported Feeder here recently; either that, or Seafood simply blew them off tonight!

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