Vox Von Braun, Bent Moustache, Bar en Boos, Leiden 14/11/09

Bar en Boos has never been the most salubrious of venues, and with good reason, being a squat bar...

The Bar en Boos has really pulled out the stops this year with good gigs, it has to be said. An improbable double header of Vox von Braun and Bent Moustache (plus, we should mention, the aftermath of Incendiary’s 5th re-launch birthday) seemed a hell of a proposition on paper. How on earth did they manage it? In the Linkse Kerk bar beforehand, Incendiary chatted on to Ajay, the personable and very charismatic leader of the legendary Bent Moustache about the squat scene and touched base with a slightly frayed Vox, who seemed to have had one hell of a drive down, in more respects than one. Still, both bands combined to make a jolly time of it pre-gig and yes, thanks! it’s nice to be wished happy birthday on behalf of Incendiary.


Bar en Boos has never been the most salubrious of venues, and with good reason, being a squat bar, I suppose standards have to be maintained; though there has been a considerable improvement in the plumbing over the last 10 years or so. After what seemed like an eternity but in all honesty was about 15 minutes, (just in time for people to show up and fill out a previously empty bar) Vox Von Braun sauntered on (as is their wont) and delivered a rollicking set packed full of new tracks, which was a very pleasant surprise indeed. There’s a reinforced vitality and enthusiasm that sparks about the band, a vitality that is very noticeable. Maybe it’s guitarist Ben’s infectious enthusiasm; whatever, it’s rubbed off on front-man Wymer, who gave the new tracks (and old favourites like Julia & Lord of Pesetas) hell. These new songs… on this first listen they had a spark, a focus and iridescence about them that contrasts very well with the rich, sepia overtones of the Something Ain’t Wrong tracks. For all the world, they sounded like Sparks or a manic, messed up mix between the Modern Lovers and Wire. Keep an eye on Vox, as things seem to be happening.




In the interval a lot of things happened. Firstly, Incendiary got collectively rather squiffy. Second, a lot more people turned up. Third, for some reason, word got about that it was Incendiary’s birthday, and people who we have no collective memory of ever having met, came up to wish us well. Thank you all.


By the time The Bent Moustache bounced on, we were in top form.  And, it seemed, so were the Moustache; energetically steered by Ajay – a man who has never let his enthusiasms for certain Manchester legends get in the way of a damned good tune. Here to promote their new single Counterinsurgencylifestylejunkies / Loyalty Scheme, the band started at a cracking pace. If only I could remember what song they started with, because it was a jaw-dropping slice of bubble-punk - sixties inflected and raucous fun. See? I’ve remembered everything but the name of the track. (Further note: I’m taking bets it was the new single)…


This latest line up of the Moustache contains a formidable hidden weapon in the shape of the lass on keyboards and occasional vocals who belted out a couple of numbers that really could be smash hits, so infectious were they. Best described as a heady mix between Slits, Go-Team and the more frisky moments of certain Communards singles, these particular songs nailed something in the fug of the Bar en Boos that made us all sit up and pay attention. As stated, the band never dropped below an enthusiastic, giving-their-all allegretto and for that alone they deserve to be praised. This lot needs spangles, dancing girls, and a big stage to ply their wares upon.




Thanks to all for a top night, and yes, a discreet veil can be drawn over the following day…