Review: Howling Bells/Asobi Seksu at Islington Academy

On Sunday I thought I was going to have a quiet Monday in. HOW WRONG I WAS. I got a call from my friend Crazybobbles asking if I wanted his spare Howling Bells ticket. Never one to turn down a show in walking distance, I said yes. First I had to go to the Lexington to pick up my Thermals ticket, after some confusion I went over to Islington Academy and got completely lost. This problem was exacerbated by the fact it was raining like crazy. Not just showers, it was biblical rain. Every curb was submerged in a massive puddle. My shoes got wet but it was fun jumping over (and accidentally in) puddles.

Through my foolish inability to navigate I kept Crazybobbles and his friends waiting, so when we got there we went straight in and got a spot in the second row. Another friend, John, was there in the front row, as well as the now infamous ’Rock’. If you are not yet aware of the infamy of the Rock, I will explain him to you. The Rock is an old man who is at alot  of gigs, he’s always front and centre and does not move EVER, hence his name The Rock. John told us about the secret Patrick Wolf show he got to go to, available for only a select few Bandstock holders. He got to be about a foot in front of Patrick playing an array of instruments in a place ‘like a house’. I was envious. He has some photos on his Flickr here. The first band were called Red Light Company. Not much to say about them. They had one song that mentioned ‘a broken social scene’ and then followed it up with a song called Arts and Crafts. All it did was make me want to see BSS.

Next it was Asobi Seksu. I’m seeing them next week too. When singer Yuki Chikudate was setting up we all noticed how preciously tiny she was, and it made us go aaaaaawwwwwhhhh. I really enjoyed their set, they sounded great. It was fun watching Yuki bounce around, and the guitarist was standing by the smoke machine and got submerged in a haze of smoke.The band play shoegaze/dream pop and have a new album titled Hush out this year, you can listen to them on Myspace. I’ll definately be listening to their album a few times again before I see them next week. I don’t think it’s sold out, it’s at the lovely ICA, so if you are free you should get a ticket.

Shooting at the Islington Academy was nice, the light was good and there was some epic smoke. I’m there again this Sunday for The Black Lips/Vivian Girls show. I have never really properly listened to Howling Bells, but from what I heard, they were awesome. The band are from Australia and are quite poppy and dreamy. Juanita had a bucketload of stage presence, there were about 483478 photographers in the pit crowding round her, following her wherever she moved, clicking away. I only stayed for the first part of their set before I jetted off back to The Lexington to catch The Thermals. Apparently Juanita & co covered Britney Spears’ Toxic. I would have liked to have heard that because I can imagine they’d pull it off well, but alas, I had to go. It was a nightmare battling through the crowd to get to the exit. It was actually harder to get out when I made it to the back of the room, because people were standing about with their backs to the stage and couldn’t see I needed to get past. To conclude the review of this, it was a great show. Thermals review later today.

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