And now, as promised, for the gang of Bristolian punk girlies…!
A likely low-key Sunday gig, this, but hey, if there’s a band playing quality original music, a Sunday night Rolly is just as valid as a sell-out Wembley in my view. And after checking out good old fashioned power trio IDestroy at the Swindon Shuffle last year and greatly enjoying their swaggering, riff-tastic guitar Vic set in a Runaways meets Veruca Salt vein, I was up for some more when the opportunity arose. So, a Sunday night freebie? Thanks I do!
A drive up and street parking just down the hill from the venue got me there just before 8, just as the girls were taking the stage (the raised area of the pub, in the corner window to the right as you go in!) for a short snappy soundcheck – a double run-through of the chorus of their eponymous track “IDestroy”! All sounded good, so they settled down with drinkies and I took a seat in the sparsely-attended Sunday evening hostelry to await their set proper, and hopefully some other punters arriving!
Sadly none were forthcoming – in fact a few people left, leaving less than a dozen people present and, in all honesty, about 4 of us lined up against the bar actually ready to pay attention! A sorry state of affairs even for Sunday night, but fair play to ‘em, the girls set to their task gamely with a strident cacophonous riff leading into aforementioned set opener “IDestroy”, a punkish blast with a suitably bratty yet no less hooky chorus, blowing the cobwebs away.
The IDestroy sound is essentially a basic, primal guitar groove drawing on 2 disparate but overlapping elements, namely a 70’s embryonic punk sound reminiscent of Joan Jett’s all-girl charges, and a more post-grunge/ 90’s heavy indie sound. So we had “Pins And Needles”, all scuzzy riffery and back to back rock poses between small, intense vocalist Bec Jevons and her taller and more pliable rock-chick bassist colleague Becky Baldwin, followed up with “Bitter Love”, which almost appropriated the creepy underlying bass riff from Adorable’s “Homeboy”, before kicking into grungy gear, both numbers featuring trademark “whoa-oh” harmonies and double vocal interplay. “Vanity Loves Me” was a snappy Veruca Salt groove with a suitably dismissive vocal, the “brand new single!” “98%” featured a soaring, insistent hook which for me recalled Cactus World News’ excellent “Years After” (obscure muso that I am…!), and “Claustrophobic” was a slower, almost stoner rock sludgy groove which might not have been out of place of a “Sons Of Anarchy” episode soundtrack!
“Technically, this is still the weekend,” announced Bec, “so this is a song about getting drunk and talking shit at the weekend!” Said number, “Talking Shit” was my set highlight, an Ex Hex-alike strident stomping rocker with a Damn Personals swagger. “State Of The Art” rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable 45 minutes set played with kinetic energy and admirable conviction, despite the poor turnout. Kudos to the girls for playing for the guys that were there, rather than bemoaning those that weren’t!