Live review: Dubais at the Wolfs + Knights of the Comet + The Legend! @ The Pipeline, Brighton

Well, shit, man. Ain’t that what Riot Grrrl is all about?

Well! That was a great show.

Here’s the deal, If you have nothing to say, say nothing. Keep it brief. Keep it enthusiastic. Well! That was a great show. It will still tell you more than the crap they run under the guise of ‘music journalism’ in The Independent. What can we infer from that phrase? A sense of relief, the show is over, the deal is closed, then the author got home safely despite driving through a rainstorm along 15 miles of flooded unlit country roads. A sense of happiness now that the deal is closed, the show is over, and everyone departed satiated and satisfied with their diet of feminist punk rock. No, you cannot impart that from those six simple words. It’s still better than that The Independent review, though.

Well! That was a great Dubais at the Wolfs show. Allison Wolfe whirling vapour trails through the air, dancing like the punk rock librarian she is, Nadia Buyse wailing “don’t cry” or “I’m going to kick your butt” or “blowhard” or whatever the hell it is, so sweet and mournfully and full-on demonic, locking eyes with Allison as they stare each other down in a no-blinking content, the drummer whipping off his werewolf mask to reveal intemperate humanity, the harmonies kick-ass and grungy in the traditional sense of the word, and goddamn beautiful and uplifting and inspirational, the crowd swaying, Allison whipping out a bag of Twiglets from her Mod handbag and handing her phone to a dancer to take photos with, songs stopping and starting with a delirious abandon and disregard for convention, the songs human and garagey in the rightest sense of the word, shimmering and spinning and smooching their ways through levels of meaning, the crowd in appreciative abandonment, the bassist pumping out one good riff after another (please tell me it is a bass), Nadia all intoxicating crazy plangent shit, wailing “oh baby you drive me crazy” and “I’ll never be tender with you” or whatever the hell it is, the werewolf mask lifting up again, Allison rooting in her handbag before striking more Mod poses, Nadia ferocious inspiration and wonder, a sense fking community, a sense of belonging, a sense that this is where we all should be, where we all belong, LOUD and MESSY and CHAOTIC but ALWAYS on-song and OFTEN in capital letters and, everything really, party music and all but a weird kind of party wherein no one throws up in the corner unheralded (I mean, some of these songs are Go-Go’s good) and Dubais at the Wolfs understand the importance of a well-placed “whoa-oh”, out of our heads on happiness and togetherness and… well, shit, man. Ain’t that what Riot Grrrl is all about?

Well! That was a great show.

Knights of the Comet play – Nadia on spontaneous drums and Jon Slade singing deep and low and sonorous like a deviant Tinderstick over garage pick-up songs that make the Lord High Fixers sound overproduced. Bam. Great show.

The Legend! plays. Before I go on stage I think of covering Liz Phair’s ‘Flower’ and Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’ cos it’d be wildly appropriate, but shit, man, I don’t. And ain’t that also, in a really obscure way, what Riot Grrrl is about? Maria Marzaioli supplies the melodic, moving soundscapes of viola and layering and I sip the dischordant cup of tea-like bitterness through tales of the half-empty hair salons of Haywards Heath and slippery glittery jumpsuits, punctuated by quiet melodic sobbing.

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