Tuesday, 19 April 2016

984 GET INUIT, Supporting Vant, Soeur, Bristol Louisiana, Sunday 17th April 2016

A second Sunday night trundle down to Bristol in a row; this time it’s in the fine company, both onstage and off, of young Summery indie-rock spunkers Get Inuit, a band rapidly becoming a regular fixture on my dance cards of late. Displaying an admirable, almost Mega City Four-like work ethic for simply piling into a van, getting in front of punters and playing the rock, they’ve just returned from a US jaunt encompassing the Industry whore-fest that is SXSW in Austin, Texas, and are immediately back on the road again in support of fellow up and comers Vant. So let’s face it, if they’re making the effort to tramp all over from Kent, then I can make the (relatively) short journey to Brizzle from the ‘Don!
I mentioned “company, both onstage and off”; following a sunny run down the M4 and a wander over the temporary bridge after parking up at the nearby Thekla car park (the usual Prince Street road bridge being closed for extensive-looking repairs – note for future reference), I wandered into the Louisiana’s downstairs pub, immediately catching sight of the Get Inuit boys. They recognised me, which is always nice, and I joined them for a brief catch-up and chat about their US adventures, and the pros and cons of Record Store Day (the previous day, ignored by me this year)! Eventually wandered upstairs to check out openers Soeur, a new Bristol trio fronted by a couple of guitar-toting femmes fatales, knocking out some hard and heavy, hair-swirling power chord riffery and channelling the likes of Veruca Salt in the process. Set closer, the aptly-named “Tough” was the best of their short set, a loud-quiet-loud “Lithium”-alike, which after a creepy slow-burn middle 8, saw the girls jumping offstage for some primal screams into the mic (also set up offstage in the front rows), and some manic whirling about, one such leading to me getting caught plum on the chin with a guitar head! Well, I guess if you stand too close to the fire, you’re gonna get burned now and then...!
Took a spot down the front, stage right (the other side to the ubiquitous Jeff) whilst Get Inuit set up. My mate Rich Craven, at the NEC in Birmingham for ELO tonight, had posted a pic up on Facebook of their stage set-up, with the comment, “ELO – not long now”, so I retorted by posting a pic of the Get Inuit boys plugging things into things and generally milling about onstage, with the legend, “Get Inuit – not long now...!” Sure enough, it wasn’t, as the boys burst into strident, poppy life with usual opener, the yelping and joyfully amphetamine-fast “Mean Heart”, followed by the swampy, creepy “I Would”. Jeff and I were shaking our booties from the outset, and got an early name-check from vocalist Jamie thanks to our front-of-house dancing. A pounding “Cutie Pie” channelled Buddy Holly through a Vaccines filter, and following a spritely new number, Jamie remarked, “that was a brand new song, but let’s face it they probably all are [to you]”, to which some wag down the front (okay, me...!) retorted, “not to me and Jeff!”
The sound, probably set up for Vant’s heavier and screamier riffery, wasn’t great tonight, and Jamie’s more nuanced, idiosyncratic vocals were often submerged in the mix, but the boys powered through gamely, their ebullient enthusiasm more than making up for it. “My Oh My”’s doo-wop harmonies were followed by the more expansive “Barbiturates”, this slower-burn number giving the angular Jamie more scope for some vocal gymnastics; then the gabbling, rampant new-waveisms of “Pro-Procrastinator” saw me doing some Logan-like arm-swings in the slower middle-8 section! “I Am The Hot Air”, the most “pop” and Candyskins-like number in their current catalogue, closed out a breathless vignette of a set, bookended by Jamie’s final comment of, “we’ll be down by the merch stand giving you puppy dog eyes!”
Got my breath back as the small room then filled up considerably for the headliners; I gave Vant a couple of numbers but found them formulaic post-grunge Nirvana copyists (although probably not as blatant as Bloody Knees). The kids went mad for them though, a jumping mosh in full swing as I extricated myself from the crowd. Hey, no accounting for taste... Grabbed a few quick words of mutual appreciation with Get Inuit guitarist Ollie downstairs before hitting the road, back home for an entirely sanitary 10.30. That’s 3 in the books for Get Inuit in the last 6 months, and here’s to many more from this eminently promising Summery, powerpoppy band of young bucks!

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