Someone is letting extra people in… Or maybe it's the usual story that 3voor12 couldn't organise the veritable piss up in a brewery at Desmets studios
CoCoRosie – 3voor12 Studios Amsterdam 22/02/07
"This is an exclusive preview, this is an exclusive preview, one guest only'', yes we know, it's been banged into us enough times. And what do you know? We get to the door confident we are on a plus one only to find we're not. Hmm. It's not the only fishy thing that happens tonight. Someone is letting extra people in... Or maybe it's the usual story that 3voor12 couldn't organise the veritable piss up in a brewery at Desmets studios. This is apparent in the hilarious (well it would be hilarious if the place wasn't so bloody full) attempts of one guy to put about two hundred coats away using four hangers in a room obviously far removed from the cloakroom queue. Things are so cramped that lots of middle aged hipsters have to stand instead of parking their expensive behinds on their usual distressed chairs. Why can't they get sensible chairs in this places like these? Why are the damn things always old, distressed and rescued from schoolrooms and assembly halls?
Yep, you guessed it; this was a media love-in of epic proportions. Lots of faux Bohemians expensively dressed in dress-down hipster clothes mill about uncomfortably (apart from the redoubtable lads from the Konkurrent label who just looked normal). Things are taking some time as CoCo are trying to sort out their sound, and having seen their preparations at TENT last year, I can tell you CoCoRosie are meticulous in that particular department. Finally we are allowed in. The band take the stage, apart from the girls there's a skinny lad in specs who later turns out to be a human beat-box, another lad playing bass and a third on keys and things. Sierra is in black lace and Bianca wears a French artillery officer's uniform (circa 1912).
Things start with tracks off the wonderful new LP, The Adventures of Ghosthorse & Stillborn. The sound is lush, the beats are pretty heavy (that skinny lad has some larynx on him) Bianca waltzes around, dropping her mic a lot, and there's a computer generated backdrop of some cartoon unicorns living together in a house. It's actually pretty brilliant. They are so much more relaxed playing their admittedly strange music, (despite the on-stage protestations that things are not going well) and the band sound perfectly suited to this very particular musical vision. Highlights played from the new LP were Japan, Girl and the Geese and Werewolf, which didn't relent for a minute, Bianca using one of her little tape recorders to great effect throughout. Finally we got stuff off the first two LPs... Especially memorable was a version of Terrible Angels.
It's a great gig and the audience respectfully hushed throughout (this is a live broadcast) are suitably grateful. At one point we also got a marvellous rendition of beat-box mastery by aforementioned skinny bloke, which set the place alight with his frankly incredible display of oral dexterity. (I do think the crowd are a little nervous of the girls themselves; despite the two of them throwing candy as an attempt to ameliorate the somewhat dignified atmosphere, you are left with the feeling that the audience never quite trusted what Bianca or Sierra would do next. As it is, this collective feeling led to an atmosphere akin to ones experienced when your Headmaster would take a Geography lesson back in your schooldays). Things warmed up during a brilliant encore with a great version of Rainbow Warriors sealing the night. Off the hipsters go back to bijou land, us? We're just grateful to see such an intriguing act.
Words: Richard Foster