Cinema & Co. 06/07/19
Cinema & Co is a good venue for live music, don’t be fooled by the name if you haven’t been there before, yes its a cinema, but they have loads of other stuff going on there too including regular live music. Its a unique room to play a gig in, there’s no stage so the band are on the same level as the audience, there is however a good sounding PA system in there and a big cinema screen behind the band to do with as you wish. They also have a well stocked bar and some of the friendliest staff you’ll meet. I’d advise keeping an eye out for gigs and other events there.
So Cinema and Co. is where I found myself this Saturday night and as is often the case I got there a bit early but was happy to wait patiently with a nice bottle of Gower gold while bands finished sound checking.
First band up was Zinc Bukowski, who are from Pontypridd apparently, the blurb in the Facebook event describes them as Post Punk / shoe gaze and whilst I’d agree with the post punk bit I’m not sure about “shoe gaze” I think it makes them sound a lot blander than they actually are. They play with plenty of energy and enthusiasm with a driving rhythm section generally kicking things along at a frantic pace but still with a nice sense of groove whilst the guitar washes over them. The Bass sounds about as filthy as its possible to make a bass sound and the punchy angry sounding vocals definitely add to the more punk sounding side of things even if there are some long instrumental sections. I like this band, they sound angry and noisy but still have a groove, feel with a sense of dynamics often lost in this type of music. I shall definitely be checking out more of them.
Mook are up next and well, what can I say about Mook, loud noisy jagged riffs one minute slow and brooding the next but still with an upbeat jaunty melody thrown in here and there. If you like bands like Fugazi, Jesus lizard or other similar bands you’ll love Mook. They work a dynamic in a song better than pretty much any band I’ve ever seen. They know exactly when to get loud and exactly when to drop out completely, even if its only for a third of a seemingly random bar in the middle of a song. Some of the darker moodier sections remind me of that bit in a horror film just before something really bad happens, when these guys get big though it sounds huge, heavy distorted guitars and bass, only the one pedal each though, I mean what more do you need other than a loud sound and a quiet one? Its all in the playing after all. Its been pointed out to me by several different people that when you look at the front row of people at a Mook gig its all musicians, the only explanation I can see for this is that they are just really good. Stupidly tight and liable to turn on a sixpence and do something unexpected that on paper probably shouldn’t work but always does. At one point they blasted through a ridiculously tight section of riffing with split second stops and starts all over the place to which my only reaction was to laugh at how stupidly tight it was. As you may have guessed I’m a big fan of Mook, if your reading this you should be too. Unfortunately they only play about two gigs a year so keep an eye out for the lesser spotted Mook and you really really should check them out when you get the chance.
Obey Cobra take to the stage to round out the evenings entertainment, I’ve heard them described as “Psychedelic post punk” which after having listened to them for the first time seems to be a pretty accurate description to me, the 6 piece band from Cardiff includes plenty of electronic ambiance and noise from a synth player, and a vocalist running everything through an effects unit that drenches vocals in so much reverb it felt like there was a genuine slip hazard right in front of the stage. Its a very atmospheric soundscapey (is that even a word) vibe they go for and certainly achieve. There’s slow sections right down at a sort of doomy 60BPM pace at points which just makes everything sound dark and powerful when it kicks in, they like to drag things out for as long as possible before they hit that big chorus though to give it a real bang when it comes in. if Mook were the sound of something bad about to happen, Obey Cobra were the sound just after that thing has happened and the decent in to madness has begun.
All in all a great night of music, including some new discoveries for me, go check all these bands out!
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