John Walker's Electronic House

by on Aug.22, 2003, under The Rest

The moment when you realise you are witnessing a perfect band is beautiful in so many different ways. So many moments of happiness and contentment are fleeting, lost within the echo of their recognition, transient and elusive. Rather than being something you enjoy, they are something you can only regret the loss of. But as you witness live music that lifts your soul, you know that the moment is going to be with you for the rest of their set, and you can bathe in it, warm and absorbing. And even better – you can find it again, either in their CD, or far better, seeing them again.

Moles tonight was very different from the night reported by Kieron Gillen a fortnight ago (Thurs 7 August). That was a night about the crowd, the people filling the floor. We all argued about the various merits of the various bands, and despite Kieron’s nonsensical statement that The Fake Ideal were “the future of rock and roll”, I think we all knew we’d seen no one that important that night. It was about the dance floor after the paid entertainment.

Tonight, it was about the bands.

As is a time honoured tradition, we arrived to hear the closing bars of the final track of the first band. However, I realise now that I must point out that “we” is not Kieron, Chrissy, and the other regulars – all were absent but for a lone Rev Campbell – but myself and my friend Kat. When the second band came on the place was beginning to fill beyond the embarrassing numbers the first band had been playing to, and we stood to see what “The Schande” would offer.

It was the most awesome, beautiful live music I have ever heard. This is not to say that they are the greatest live band ever, by no means, but that they are the live band that played the music I want to hear, the way I want it to be heard, at the moment I most wanted to hear it.

The guitars were screamingly distorted, the drums obnoxiously loud (the high-hats still own the majority of my eardrums), and the warm, liquid voice of the singer rippling underneath, a siren call to a powerful current. By the third song I knew.

A song later the lead singer looked me straight in the eyes, and held my gaze. For a few seconds, it was my eyes she locked on to. And for that time, she was singing just for me. My feet hovered two inches from the ground. She looked away, and I hit the floor again.

I turned to Kat when they had left the stage and said, almost winded, “That was awesome.” She shrugged, “It was alright.” It was my moment, it seems.

Later, I saw Jen Schande standing on one side, and decided to be the sort of geek I normally hate. I asked her to sign the CD inlay of the album I’d just bought. She said, “Do you really want me to?”, surprised. I told her how fantastic their set had been. Two other members of the band signed the inlay, and we talked. A few minutes later she had to go and get her guitar to leave, and so said goodbye, and surprised me with a hug, and a kiss on my cheek. I kissed her cheek. She further surprised me with another kiss on the corner of my mouth, and then she was gone.

The next band, The Gossip, were fabulous. Pure punk joy. The place was packed by then, and people’s spirits were bouncing. An amazing atmosphere and an amazing band.

Headliners Milky Wimpshake arrived too late, really. They were good end-of-evening lightness, gentle and air-headed, calm and ideal for finishing the bell-curve of the evening. But they performed to a dwindling crowd, burned out by The Gossip’s frantic energy.

And it was during their set that the final division between tonight and two weeks ago arrived – a large group of drunken annoyances, drawn in by the late bar. They ‘danced’ in a manner that drew nothing but annoyed or angry glances from the rest of the floor, loud, stupid, not of the night we’d all shared. They were outsiders, tearing down the curtains of acceptance that Moles offers on a Thursday evening. At the Purr night, you can be who you are, without need to match trends, dress ‘fashionably’, or behave in the way pubs and clubs demand. These people burst that bubble so much so that when the DJ came on at the end, everybody just walked away. It’s a fragile and magical place.

So this probably isn’t the blog update anyone was expecting. And after so long, I doubt anyone was expecting a blog update. But this evening needed writing down before it went away.

If you’re interested, Jen Schande’s band sounds like (and please forgive this tiresome means of conveying the sound of a band – I have yet to find a better one) Throwing Muses meets the Red House Painters. The beautiful guitar majesty of the latter, with a voice that captures the very softest moments of Tanya Donnelly’s.

Well, actually there is a better way of conveying it:

The Revolution Wears Fairy Wings

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