Photography: Alex Smith

Duds

  • +
  • Mincemeat
  • Ohmns
  • Eyesore And The Jinx
The Bagelry 13/1/18

Tonight, the tables in The Bagelry are gone, replaced by a makeshift PA system and some hairy North West fellas with instruments. Happily, it’s also full, reaching capacity just as the tonight’s opening act starts tuning up. The first part of the night belongs to EYESORE AND THE JINX, who aren’t exactly your typical garage punks. They squeeze in some twelve-bar blues, some post-punk and just a little Midwest America emo. The musical equivalent of that mulled wine at Christmas; you went a bit mad with the spice rack, but everyone had red stained lips at the end of the night.

It’s with OHMNS’ largely instrumental set that we realise the PA isn’t cooperating. A little disappointing, but there’s nothing more punk than broken equipment, albeit, you’d normally trash stuff after you play. Ohmns are punk right down to their frayed shoelaces, all punchy drums with fast, driving guitar. As they’re hosting tonight’s proceedings, we can forgive them a bit of scratchiness.

MINCEMEAT manage to squeeze something out the mics when they’re up. We’re taken back into the smoky birthing pools of punk with their pub rock swagger and sound; not even their lead singer can’t resist moving about the crowd to their rough, loungey rock ‘n’ roll. He closes the set out from atop the Bagelry counter, yelping the refrain “I love bagels/Do you like bagels?” at the crowd. Vigorous nods, from the guy with crumbs and sesame seeds in his beard.

It takes a little while for DUDS to set up, and with two percussionists and a horn section swelling their ranks, it’s neither a surprise or a chore. When there’s more than one cowbell about, too, you get the feeling something special’s on the way. “Very Pre-Raphaelite,” someone quips, as the band finally line up in their matching khaki shirts; well, there are only seven of them and no one’s laying in a river, but sure. With their first album being picked up by storied label Castle Face after very little in the way of a back story, you can bet they know how to make their cowbells rock.

The moment they start, you’re ripped away from your expectations. The dissonant guitar and odd marching drums show hallmarks of No Wave, with the obvious comparison of A Certain Ratio or Minutemen also lurking in the shadows. Duds set a fearsome pace and don’t let up, switching instruments and throwing jazz licks in wherever possible. It’s the technical mastery of math rock smashed into disco, keeping you guessing at all turns. Only after does it sink in that you danced your way through the whole set. Grinned like an idiot too, I bet.

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