Live Music + Gig Reviews

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) + Holy Fuck @ KOKO, London

7 November 2007

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) The bass heavy beats reverberate like low frequency tremors in water. The floor rumbles. Figures hover around a clutter of electro junkie paraphernalia shrouded in hoodies like druids performing a ritual, bobbing up and down and rocking back and forwards.

Enter Holy Fuck. Their stage setup is shaped like a horse shoe, nailed to the stage by a cacophony of keyboards, synths, switches with clusters of multi-adaptors and gaffa tape.

The band are much admired by tonight’s headliners and have frequented !!! support slots in the US and Europe. Like !!! they fuse elements of electro with strong rhythmic foundations which don’t sit in any sort of stable. One moment you’re hearing electro, then techno, then its new wave, shoe gaze, new gaze, thrash and before you know it you’re seriously moving and feeling this.

!!! have been on the road for much of the year and tonight is something of a send off for Myth Takes. We caught them earlier in the year, in London, at Glastonbury, at Summercase and at Benicassim. All bring back fine memories and were some of the best live experiences we’ve had.

Tonight was once more, spectacularly, no different. !!! have a wonderful gift which allows them to project a seismic wave of euphoria and mayhem as they work through their live show.

The rhythm section is as tight and free flowing as ever. The recent departure of vocalist / drummer John Pugh has not hindered the experience, giving a new lease of life to Shannon Funchness who has been a regular fixture at the shows. Then we come to Nic Offer who surely is the living, breathing, body popping cure for obesity if a tape of his dancing was given any justice and issued as an exercise video for all the fat people in the world.

On second thought, encouraging fat people to scale speaker stacks and flop their limbs like a rag doll on amphetamines is a little risky. A good first step would be to try to keep up with the band as they blast out much of Myth Takes, lose yourself to Me And Giuliani, or dance like the devil to Pardon My Freedom. Many tonight have their souls touched by Offer’s wild dancing and respond with attempts to simulate, generating an interesting mixture of both rabid and worrying upper torso activity.

In the end though, when your joints quiver so much that they no longer respond, when your hips are made of polythene, and breathing is a heavy exercise, you will look into the mirror with tired eyes at the distantly familiar face and smile when you look back upon nights like these.

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