shows, music, words & pictures / historypainting@hotmail.com

‘You keep the beats’ – Plug at the Hub, London



Plug played support tonight at the fairly new Disolvenza night at E1’s the Hub, but I can’t see why any promoter would have it that way.  Raw, smart & direct songs were blasted forth from a beautifully minimal setup – 2-piece on bass and drums (with the occasional little additional Bontempi keyboard-style accompaniment).

Painfully lame nights out that end with you waiting in the rain for a nightbus – unfulfilled and questioning the state of all things music are all about nights like tonight.  In that nights like tonight are what make all those cruddy gig nights worth it.  You can’t orchestrate a chance encounter with something special – you can just be ready to pay your four quid entry fee & wait patiently.

If you hadn’t gathered, tonight was more than worth it.  Plug were vital and uncompromising in their directness and clarity.  It’s been a long time since I heard a new band who sounded so mature in their focus.  What they chose to leave out – what they decided not do, weighed a ton.  Imagine a parallel world where Siouxie Sioux cooly, calmly, but defiantly & angrily masterminded the sharply minimal Young Marble Giants – but in a 2009 where the best new music was reacting against the fact that much of the new music often sounded like it had forgotten that the future was yet to be written.  And a Young Marble Giants that had spent as much time listening to the urgently present old Die Monitr Batss singles, and the raw rhythms of Ramellzee & Benga as it had Eno & Can.

Now imagine you’re in an SU bar, enjoying the cheap beer, catching up with old friends, sitting with your back to the seemingly distant stage, when suddenly, to sit feels just wrong.  Well that’s when Plug are five seconds into their first song.  Like a sharp point – sonic trepanation or something – Plug’s sparse bass riffs, lit-savvy lyrics and insistent drum patterns cut through the fog of cheap beers to amass an appreciative and excited audience, hanging on every smash of the tom and thwack of the strings.  A great band that I sincerely hope stick around for a while.

A little sleuthing will reveal that they have a 7″ single out on Parlour Records.  You can get that on their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/plugddd.

They’re playing a fair few nights soon, so go see them & see/hear what I’m on about – guaranteed no regrets:

24th Feb – South of the Border, Old St /// 26th Feb – Ryan’s Bar, Stokie /// 18th March – The Pictures Night, Barden’s, Dalston

Don’t come crying in a year when you’re trying to get a ticket to see them & its all sold out.


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