Monotonix / Beestung Lips / Esquilax / Cum Dogs
Capsule 10th Birthday Celebrations
Birmingham DIY promoters Capsule are currently celebrating ten years of curating gigs featuring the best in obscure and underground music that these shores have to offer. Tonight the Vivid art gallery in Digbeth hosts the first of a string of events in the city that sum up the approach of Capsule’s cutting edge and visceral music ethic and also point to the future of where they intend to take themselves.
First up, Modified Toy Orchestra‘s Brian Duffy introduces his new Cum Dogs outfit who perform warped cyber blues with battered synthetic drum sounds and raspy, distorted acoustic guitar. It’s kind of like Beck’s ‘Mutations’ album revisited by a hungover Dinobot that had just raided a load of instruments from Cash Converters.
Esquilax then inflict half-an-hour’s worth of industrial white noise interspersed with wretched nerve-mashing screams upon the crowd – some of whom applaud in an appreciation of the Emperors new clothes type way, others are just bemused and in need of a cuddle.
Punk genius or Guantanamo interrogation technique? Hmmm, this is probably what it sounds like when your organs are being ravaged by nuclear waste.
Next, Beestung Lips fire up their Vietnam air-raid hardcore with singer Ben Fell commanding the stage as if it’s some kind of sacrificial alter. You get the feeling that if you were to slice his stomach open you would be staring into the Earth’s core, such is is the conviction of his delivery.
The heavy duty punk assault of BSL is merely an aperitif for the main course of Monotonix. This Israeli garage / thrash / psych three-piece are rock wizards who demolish not only the venues in which they play but also the conventions of what is typically accepted from a live band.
They are closer to a circus act than a rock group with acrobatics from frontman Levi “Ha Haziz” (Yomtov) Elvis which see him sing from anywhere but the stage and even play drums while being held aloft by the crowd. He is like some kind of turbo jester with hypnotic powers of persuasion that make you do exactly as he directs, whether it’s carrying him above your head, whacking cymbals, dancing freestyle to the bass drum, simulating watersports or catching him as he leaps from on top of the bar.
Everyone is gurning with a massive smile on their face as they leave and also probably covered in more than a comfortable amount of sweat from the semi-naked bodies of the band who came intent on mauling the last bit of decency out of everyone at Vivid tonight.
Which they did.