It seemed fitting that the bands !!! had chosen to support them in Leeds didn’t quite fit the mould a lazy reviewer would try and fit them info.
Shut Your Eyes do bear a striking resemblance to iForward, Russia! and Blood Red Shoes are by virtue of being a male/female duo automatically slotted in alongside The White Stripes, neither deserves to have their own ingenuity undermined by such comparisons.
While Shut your eyes have the energy and raw emotion to make even gloomy nights in West Yorkshire enjoyable, Blood Red Shoes take a guitar and a drum kit and make a hell of a lot of noise – while at the same time delivering some pretty impressive bluesy rock ‘n’ roll.
Onto the main attraction and as they blast into All My Heroes Are Weirdos, from the word go it’s pretty clear that !!!’s live shows aren’t exactly your usual cup of tea – dancing, debauchery and at times, half the people seemed to be hitting things (the band mind the crowd were too busy dancing to hurt each other).
Covering material from all of their three long players to date, it’s hard to see how the band went unnoticed for so long, while the likes of The Rapture or Radio 4 had made their mark before their debut records even hit the shelves.
Heart of Hearts is the kind of song Kryten from Red Dwarf would dance to; funk meets androids and some stellar guitars while the nights standout track, Must Be The Moon is a bona fide NYC dance floor stomper, an instant soundtrack to the biggest nights of your life. Forget post punk, !!! have made the track to define a genre, and then gone and made the genre their own.
At points, the set veers worryingly towards total chaos: three drummers, two singers, lots of noise and flashing lights, but somehow it only adds to the fun. It might have put off someone who had come along to see if !!! are Warp’s next Maximo Park signing, but for everyone else, it just added to the fun.
As the set drew to a close, and final track Intensity rattled round the room, drawing every last drop of perspiration from the heaving pile of people that was half moshpit, half dance floor I couldn’t help feel something was missing.
Maybe it was the couple of songs that draw together a set, focussing your attention and reminding you that this isn’t just a one off. Then again, maybe that’s why it all seems to come together, without a focus, you can get on with exploring the parts others too often forget.