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Toucan Club, Cardiff, 11/05/05

(reviewed by Guy Salvador)

Had a confusing start to the evening...........Checked the Toucan club out
on the internet before I went, site quoted 2 to get in after 9 o'clock,
sounded more than reasonable to me. Arrived at the club around 9.45,
friendly doorman bloke asked me for a fiver? After my protestations I
ended up paying 3 so, not really sure wether I saved 2 or got ripped for
a quid in the end....... still not sure........

Anyway, to the bands. There were 4 bands on tonight, of which I saw two,
apologies to the first & last bands for not catching you.
I think(?) the first band were called "The Voices", a 3 piece, 2 guitar /
keyboard / drum machine noise / experimental band which, to be honest I
found interesting although not entertaining in a traditional sense, which
is not a criticism in this instance. They produce a wall of sound based
generally around heavily effected guitar & generally repetitive keyboard
hooks / noises. Their guitar work reminded me a bit of Marco Pirroni's
early playing in a band called "Rema Rema", or possibly "Cocteau Twins" if
anyone can remember them! As I said all in all interesting, could do with
some bass of some sort & also some work on their drum tracks. Vocally I
couldn't really hear anything they were attempting to do.... PA fault not
the band, although I got the feeling the vocals weren't an overly important
part of their sound. It's definitely early days for these guys but, will
be interested to see how they progress in the future.

Khagool: A six piece, shambolic looking, collection of individuals on
first sight, who turned out to be simply magnificent! Great set of songs,
well performed, to the obvious great enjoyment of the band, which
transferred to the audience. Soundwise there are comparisons to "Yo la
Tengo", "SFA" at their more psychedelic moments & possibly some Chilli
Peppers thrown in. The main bit thing that grabs you is the quality of the
songwriting, which is possibly the most essential bit for a new band. They
swap instruments between band members a bit too much, which tends to spoil
the continuity of the gig, no real worries at this type of small gig really
& maybe there is a tendency to over - do the percussion / bongo's in
certain songs, although this generally works well throughout the set. I
had only heard one track by the band before this gig, of which the name
evades me at the moment, this was the first track they played & cry's out
to be a single, of which I would hope to see in the near future. I am not
sure of the bands position signed / unsigned etc but would suggest that if
unsigned they should be snapped up quickly. Their set is well balanced,
with the songs positioned in just the right places building to 2 cracking
last songs with the drums & bass doing some great stuff, particular mention
for the bass player who uses a good mix between harmonics & thunder in the
right places! Will definitely be looking @ their website, &
going to some more of their shows, nice one guys, get busy!

Guy Salvador 2005


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