Vox Von Braun, zZz, Kate Jackson deejay set Tivoli, (de Helling), Utrecht 15/11/008
First up; why is de Helling so fucking far away? It’s a good tramp out to the outer limits of the city centre to get to this admittedly very friendly venue. No matter, once inside, your intrepid correspondent grabbed a can and hunkered down to watch Vox Von Braun.
Vox are on a roll creativity-wise at present. Their LP Something Ain’t Wrong is fucking brilliant and the addition of an extra guitarist has opened up their live sound a great deal. They’ve really stepped up a level since last year. It’s a shame they were on so early, as people hadn’t really started to arrive once they kicked off. Vox’s live tactic is a simple but effective one. Start with the slow ones and warm up to a barnstorming finish. It worked brilliantly on this evening.
The fabulous sound (Vox: a tip; employ this lad to do your sound each gig), and soft opening created a lovely warm fuzzy glow to envelop the audience, sucking them into Wymer’s songs of low lifes and missed opportunities. Once people did start to turn up, the band and original audience were pumped up for some rocking out. Julia, Lord of Pesetas and an abridged version of Get Real followed in quick succession and polite applause gave way to a realisation that this band were pretty bloody good.
After this the place filled up considerably for high profile Amsterdammers zZz, whose great LP, Running with the Beast is really something else. The big bear of a drummer bawled his way through their set of sleazy, dancey noise, occasionally lowering the tempo with the odd love song. The other lad played lots of moogs and keyboards, creating a very rich sound that at times got close to white noise.
It’s funny though; despite the enjoyment off the crowd and the obvious commitment and charm emanating from the stage, I felt this wasn’t as good as I’d hoped my first zZz would be, after all a singing drummer & a fella behind a bank of keys can be a very static proposition live. Still, they burned things up pretty effectively; maybe I need to see them a couple more times.
After this Long Blonde Miss Kate Jackson, looking remarkably chipper, (considering the last 6 months or so for the band she fronted) knocked out a fab deejay set, including the Equals, the Rattles, the Fall, Thin Lizzy, The Crystals BowWowWow and lots more. Top stuff. Sadly we couldn’t stick around for The Subs or Shameboy as a 2-3am route march back to Central Station was too much to contemplate for this wallflower.
Good night, mind, though next time I’m getting a taxi.
Words: Richard Foster