Live Music + Gig Reviews

Teeth @ Lexington, London

21 September 2011

It may surprise you, but I have been to house parties. There are genuinely people out there who can stand me enough to invite me round to visit where they lay their hat, provide me with somewhere to sit and drink and play music at me.

Truth be told, I never do well at them. I tend to get trapped in spaces next to other equally frightened souls, desperately trying to keep the burning embers of a conversation with the barely-flammable damp kindling of small talk.

Weather. Transport. Reality TV. Hoping that something, anything catches light and provides enough heat to make it through the following five minutes before we can make our excuses and depart in alternate directions.

This gig felt like a house party. Without the small talk, admittedly (and gratefully), but otherwise, it was if you’d inadvertently wandered into someone’s gathering; everybody had been introduced, and the three people on stage had been goaded up there because everyone else was in complete agreement in asserting that there was no fucking way anyone else was going to get to plug their iPod in before me.

In truth, despite the association, that isn’t meant as a negative assessment. Teeth’s desire to get people involved, get them on stage dancing and singing, is kind of admirable, and the genial atmosphere was pervasive.

Also, to be fair, this was a launch party for the debut album (Whatever. No, not being sarcastic and teenage. It is the title) so you can understand them for being in a pretty celebratory mood.

You could argue the whole setup tonight didn’t exactly stand up to close scrutiny: they came on, plugged in the Mac, and played the album. End-to-end. Back-to-back. Occasionally the jack got knocked out of the computer, further illustrating that the line between clever and stupid is pretty thin. 3.5mm, to be exact.

But really, it was fun. The songs stood up well. A bit grittier and a bit less sickly-fluorescent day-glo than on record. Dead Boys and Street Jams in particular gained an edge which definitely erred towards the coruscating end of the electro spectrum.

Plus, it was enlivened by a live drummer who, judging by his none-too-elegant stumble across stage at the end, was heroically drunk, and the endearing Veronica So, lead singer.

A cross between Art Star-era Karen O and a slightly less likely to stab you in the face Alice Glass she seemed to be having a great time. Which is fine. Because ultimately you felt that you could too.

Live, Teeth are having a party. And you are invited. How much you enjoy it will entirely depend on how literally you take the invite. Go for it, not give a shit, you’ll have a glorious time. Be reticent and you’ll feel more than a little divorced from proceedings.

A fair exchange? Perhaps. But it’s quite an ask for a Wednesday night.

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Teeth @ Lexington, London
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