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Maps - Northumbria University, Newcastle, 11/5/2007

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 18 / 5 / 2007

Maps - Northumbria University, Newcastle, 11/5/2007


At Northumbria University in Newcastle, Jonjo McNeill watches sleazy American synth duo Shy Child kick up a storm

Shy Child are a two-piece from New York, kind of like Death From Above 1979 except pilled up to the eyeballs. They’ve been kicking around for seven years or so now, and have garnered a fair bit of recent credibility and success as remixers – The Futureheads’ ‘Decent Days and Nights’ most notably was given an excellent treatment. But they’re here in Newcastle tonight to win over a bunch of Day-Glo Geordies – and they do it with aplomb. Mixing hard dance beats battered out of an electric kit with one of those keyboards you wear round your neck (google leads me to believe they’re called ‘Keytars’ but that sounds like management speak to me) Shy Child are the most Actual Rave of all the New Rave (© Pigeonholing Arseholes 2006) bands, in that they actually do play rave music. But they also rock quite hard indeed. Playing mainly cuts from new album ‘Noise Won’t Stop’, it’s incredible that two people can make such an awesome noise; dirty synths wrestle dirtier beats whilst sleazy melodies crawl their way through the heaving wall of sound. There’s a nagging feeling that something is missing though; and, whether it was the dynamic of the band or simply a rushed soundcheck on the night, they badly need some bass in there. The songs sound like they were written on guitars, and transformed into what they are now for stylistic reasons, but this is no bad thing. It’s quite refreshing to hear such sonically stylish music working with real songs, and puts the style-over-substance of some of their contemporaries to shame. With the addition of a bassist, or some bass loops even, I can’t help but feel they’d be unstoppable with the musical climate being the way it is. A strong performance from a band that is doing what so many others are trying and failing to achieve.

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Maps - Northumbria University, Newcastle, 11/5/2007

Maps - Northumbria University, Newcastle, 11/5/2007

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