Review: Hold Yr Horse Is / Anarchist Cookbook / Shana Tova @ TheVictoria

Hold Yr Horse Is, Anarchist Cookbook, Shana Tova
The Blind Tiger Club
The Victoria
6th May 2010

We Love Brum and The Other Woman’s Club came together tonight as The Blind Tiger Club, to put on a great line-up at The Victoria consisting of Shana Tova, Anarchist Cookbook and Hold Your Horse Is, with a DJ set from This Is Tomorrow – resident Victorianites.

First on the bill tonight were Shana Tova. Unfortunately two of the band were ill, so the audience were treated to a solo set from lead singer and guitarist, Geordie Blake. Aside from a couple of minor mistakes which Geordie dealt with in a relaxed and humorous way, the set was great. Geordie nailed the vocals- I really love this guy’s voice.

It was interesting to hear a stripped back version of Shana Tova’s songs, and they were definitely given a different dimension. ‘Sleech’ sounded especially good and the band have now taken their place firmly on my Spotify playlist and bookmarked Myspace pages – they should be on yours too.

Second up were current Brummie favourites, Anarchist Cookbook. Frankly, these boys get better every time I see them. Tonight saw a powerful and tight set delivered from all four of the lads, complete with what every audience member was clearly waiting for… drummer Nick to get too hot and take his shirt off.

Some clever samples in between the tracks provided a coherence and fluidity previously unseen. The tracks off their new EP, ‘Alpha Male vs. Alpha Male (round nine)’ and ‘We’ll Bore all our Friends to Death’ (which you should definitely head to their Myspace to get right now Good) sound like they’ve been performing them for years. And so, ending the set with the ridiculously catchy and memorable lines: ‘The same crescendos to the same old faces, the same old sweat in the same old places’, which I’ve had in my head ever since, Anarchist Cookbook tore it up yet again. The music’s sounding really great; they just need to work a little on their on-stage banter. But hey, nobody’s entirely perfect.

Headlining tonight were London trio, Hold Your Horse Is. They may have ‘borrowed’ their name from a Hella album, but we can forgive them for that – especially after their set tonight.

It was certainly a very energetic forty(ish) minutes from the lads, of really good, together, alternative, rock music. They reminded me a little bit of the good side of ‘Rueben’- with the use of some rather heavy bass and discordant, rhythmic chords. ‘Hold Your Horse Is’ definitely have one of the most animated bass players I’ve ever seen… The audience  joined in as much as the social awkwardness of being in a room with 15 or so people allowed – so there was plenty of toe-tapping, knee-jolting, and the occasional deliberate neck-twitch-verging-on-head-bang.

The sound and balance of all three bands was spot-on tonight. I just wish more people had been there to see these great acts.

Rachael Hogg


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