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Kenja Kinetic - West Coast Bar, Margate, 27/2/2011

  by Paul Waller

published: 21 / 2 / 2011

Kenja Kinetic - West Coast Bar, Margate, 27/2/2011


Paul Waller enjoys a night of hardcore mayhem from New York-based band Gay For Johnny Depp at the West Coast Bar in Margate

So this was the second time I’d seen Man Hands and the second time I’ve been utterly impressed by them. Being the first of five bands on a Sunday night and coming on at 7 p.m. before most of the audience had arrived created an atmosphere similar to that found in a morgue not that you would know it from the way they played. The riffs were furiously nasty and the band tight as hell. The no bass guitar approach worked especially well for their faster more power violent tracks, yet it’s over too soon. Twenty five minutes after they began their mind bashing assault they leave the stage. Both Yamaharahara and Scholars had the locals eating out of their hands singing along almost word for word throughout most of their respective sets. The female vocals and swingier rhythms made the indie punk smarts of Yamamharahara stand out slightly above Scholars brand of smooth pop punk. Even though Scholars bass player was 100% committed to his cause and a joy to watch the faux arguments towards the end of the set rubbed me the wrong way and I lost interest almost immediately. Thankfully the Computers belted their way through a set of 50’s fuelled modern day punk rock with screamo hardcore vocals to hammer home their short choppy songs to my disillusioned mind. Now I thought Man Hands were tight but these guys thrashed their way through song after song as if their whole being depended on it. They are a well drilled machine make no mistake. All dressed in head to toe white clobber the group look a little like the Hives and with the singer Alex's positive and witty stage banter you could squint your eyes from the back of the room and easily mistake the two. Only the Computers are from Devon not Sweden and I would definitely listen to them whereas I’m not sure that anyone on Earth has actually listened to the Hives since 2006. Now I was expecting the worst with Gay For Johnny Depp. I’d seen them in London on their Triple Threat tour back in 2009 and was pretty nonplussed and the band's new album, 'What Doesn't Killy You Eventually Kills You', was such a disappointment compared with what they have put out previously over the last few years but, oh my God, if this wasn’t one of the best shows I’ve seen ANY band perform in years. The crowd had thinned a bit by the time they went on but they were not fazed by this in any way. In an utterly jubilant mood vocalist Marty Leopard (Real name: Arty Shepherd) proceeded to acquire the majority of outer clothing from the front rows of the audience. Liberating glasses, hats and jackets from their owners he screamed, howled and pranced his way around the stage and on the floor with the paying punters. Yeah, we’ve seen this sort of schtick before and the new record seemed a little laboured but there is nothing forced in it anyway tonight. Gay for Johnny Depp mean it and it’s a revelation. Over the past few years I’ve seen so many hardcore bands give it as much huff and bluster as they can only to come across as wet blankets. But tonight was a reaffirmation as to why I listen to this music in the first place. I have no other words to say except tonight the band was simply incredible.

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