Live Review

Sleigh Bells, Audio, Brighton

A room-shredding, stage-diving, vicious hurricane of a performance.

Either I’m stupid and don’t know enough words, or words are stupid and there’s not enough of them. Whichever, I’m kinda at a loss to describe this simply jaw-dropping show. Erm, it’s simply jaw dropping. What’s the word for ‘amps-staked-to-the-ceiling, ridiculously riotous cacophony, and then some’? The word for ‘sleazy (as in good sleazy, as in, oh I don’t know, JAMC sleazy), pulsating, throbbing, crushing, crunching, utter noise barrage, and then some’? I’ve not got the words, they don‘t exist right? Thank God DIY ain’t too fussy about word counts.

I need some pictures, need visual content, need to show the sold-out crowd reaction to this. Stupid words can’t show the unity of movement, can’t let you see how they crash forward in waves, re-group and go again. There are more hands in the air than in a Will Smith video, and the eyes? All the eyes (All.The.Eyes) are focused on one force of nature; Alexis Krauss. After the show gig buddy Nikki says ‘you can’t write about her, it’ll sound terrible’. She’s right, I can see how this is going to read. I so do have the words for this, but…

Straight boys should not be allowed to write about her, maybe straight girls could, but they might wanna double check they’re straight. I won’t repeat what else Nikki said, but it raised eyebrows. I’m gonna have to go with a ‘suffice to say’. Suffice to say this is a prowling, menacing, filthy (as in good filthy, as in rock’n’roll filthy, as in, oh I don’t know, remember when Courtney Love was a force of nature? Take that. Add some. Add some more. You’re getting closer), room-shredding, stage-diving, vicious hurricane of a performance.

You could call it crowd pleasing, I guess. But the thing that adds the contrast, supplies the balance that’s essential, is that sweet, sweet voice. And, yeah, sure, most of the time all that voice is dishing out is a lashing of ‘Infinity Guitars’ or ‘I Got My A Machines On The Table, Got My B Machines In The Drawer’ (are the B machines being held back cos they’re even more powerful? If so, bring ’em on, c’mon, bring ’em, we can take it). Then though, then there’s ’Rill Rill’. Like battling up through 5th Avenue Christmas shoppers and finding Central Park. A haven of, relative, serenity amidst the thrillingly chaotic. What are the lyrics? ‘We fell asleep in the middle of the fury’? Yes. Yes, that’s how it feels tonight. Escape, respite, Heaven. Apparently it hangs off a Funkadelic hook, I read that, I don’t know about these things. Whatever. What I do know is vaguely discordant, honeyed, slowed to a faltering heartbeat, indiepop. I’ve had a popcrush on Rill Rill for so long, after tonight it’s love. Played with the added reserve we need, played with more spice than a Naga Jolokia. Jeez, the Scoville Scale has taken a right battering tonight. It’s played to perfection.

We get, what, 40 minutes? It’s enough, it’s all too much. Man, it’s nowhere near enough, and I’ve still not got the words I need. Let’s keep it simple. Go see Sleigh Bells. As soon as you can. Seriously. Thank me later.

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