I always thought that seeing a band live it's a much better introduction to its music than listening to records. You may not know the songs very well (or at all), but you get a much better idea about the band's chemistry and energy. Of course the recorded output is the decisive factor for making or breaking a band and that's what will be left behind in the end to remind us of its contribution to music history, but a gig can be much more revealing of a band's true potential.
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club from Cardiff, Wales, have released a couple of albums so far, and judging by the latest, 2009's "Love On An Oil Rig" which I got right after the gig, they specialize in short, sharp, indie pop-post punk numbers, that they're usually over before they start. The best of them ("Parrot", "Bored In Belgium") leave a sweet melodic aftertaste thanks to the female backing vocals that make them far more catchy than you would expect from a noisy, shouty post-punk ditty.
The live experience, perhaps not surprisingly, turned out to be a much more noisy affair, where the pop element of their sound took a back seat and the punk rumble took the driving wheel. As a result songs like "Bored In Belgium" that need their pop "lalala's" to work, did not function as well live as they do in their recorded form, but overall the band showed us a heavier, more adventurous side that I wouldn't have expected had I listened to the album first. This adventurousness coupled with the live chemistry of Adam Taylor and Louise Mason, the band's front-line, made for a thoroughly satisfying performance and left me with the impression that perhaps we could expect even more interesting developments in the band's future (their third full-length is in the works).
The evening's entertainment started with a performance from local up-and-coming act The Callas. The three-piece played an energetic, power pop-art punk set behind some sort of a curtain (no idea what that's supposed to symbolize, but we did manage to get a photo from the side) with influences ranging from Pixies to Television Personalities. I should also mention that both of the evening's acts list The Fall as an influence, and that's always a plus in my book.
The Callas, live @ 6 D.O.G.S (Nov. 10, 2010)
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Parrot / Bored in Belgium, Live @ Six D.O.G.S (Nov. 10, 2010)