Live Review: Art Brut with Princeton at Black Cat, Washington DC – 18 October 2009

By on Tuesday, 20th October 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

On a chilly Washington Sunday night I, warmed by the beckoning Black Cat on 14th Street, was armed with the knowledge that something fantastic was about to happen. And that something fantastic was English/German band Art Brut.

b-princeton2But before we could get “Brut-alised“, we were entertained by a four-piece from Los Angeles, Princeton. If you like the Drums, I imagine you will also like the chirpy rock/pop sound that this quartet makes. Songs like the Beach Boys-esque ‘Martina and Clive Krantz’ and the surprisingly upbeat ‘I Left My Love in Nagasaki’ will make you smile. Very interestingly, their web site says that the band started when three of them were living in London in 2005. (I maintain to this day that there must be something in the Thames that causes the inner rocker in people to rise up and form bands.)

Cute as heck twin brothers Jesse and Matt Kivel traded off lead vocal and guitar duties effortlessly, and keys from Ben Usen and the backbeat provided by David Kitz complete the band’s sound. The brothers’ self-deprecating banter between songs charmed the crowd by the end of the set. And seriously, when was the last time you were asked by a band to clap along not just to one, but several songs in a band’s set and you did so without reservation?

h-artbrut3I had been recommended to see Art Brut by several friends on the Continent who insisted “Eddie Argos is a legend!” and “Art Brut are amazing live!” I was already interested in the band through their recent single ‘DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake’, a celebration of the best things in life from Argos’s point of view. The song is from their latest album, ‘Art Brut vs. Satan’, released on Cooking Vinyl in April. I have a yet-to-be-shaken axiom that if a band is having a great time on stage playing their songs, it follows that the audience watching them will also have a great time being entertained by them. The Art Brut gig was further evidence for this. Jasper Future and Ian Catskillkin on guitars, Freddy Feedback on bass, and Mikey Breyer on drums were all having the time of their lives, playing with so much passion that at times I was worried their respective instruments might fly out of their hands. In particular, Future pulls these hilarious faces when he sings backing vocals; then he’ll stare out at the crowd as if waiting for a reaction. Comical!

g-artbrut2And then there was Eddie Argos. He had told me earlier (after an exclusive interview I did with him, forthcoming on TGTF) that he is a show-off and likes to be the centre of attention. However, nothing could have prepared me for what can only be described as stage shenanigans. During the third song, ‘Summer Job’, Argos skipped rope with the microphone cord; I think he broke it because then the roadies had to quickly set up another microphone for him. He introduced ‘Rusted Gun of Milan’ humorously with “let’s glamourise bad sex!” Completely randomly in the middle of the song, he jumped into the crowd, the microphone cord narrowly hitting my friend and me in the face. He then went on to describe to bemused concertgoers on the floor where the glass elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory leads to: “the Bat Cave. And this is all entirely true“. What did he do next? He started pogo-ing, which of course led to everyone in the club following his lead. He detailed his disappointment finding out that Iggy Pop‘s song ‘The Passenger’ was not about riding on buses but taking heroin in the backseat of a limousine, and how he decided then that Art Brut would have to write a much better song about the joys of traveling on buses and trains around Britain. If that isn’t adorable, I don’t know what is.

Later on in the set, Argos explained that when playing ‘Alcoholics Unanimous’ (the first single from ‘Art Brut vs. Satan’) live, the band will play an extended outro so that he can nip off for a drink. It should also be noted that this is the same song that has the brilliant raucous chorus of “bring me tea! Bring me coffee!” So is it any surprise that one of the best-selling pieces of Art Brut merchandise was a mug with these words emblazoned on it in large letters? No, not at all. And this is all entirely true.

After the cut: photos and set list.

l-artbrut7

Princeton photos:

a-princeton1

b-princeton2

c-princeton3

d-princeton4

e-princeton5

Art Brut photos:

g-artbrut2

h-artbrut3

i-artbrut4

j-artbrut5

k-artbrut6

Art Brut set list:
Formed a Band
My Little Brother
Summer Job
Good Weekend
Rusted Guns of Milan
What a Rush
Modern Art (DC Comics version)
Demons Out
Bad Weekend
Alcoholics Unanimous
Emily Kane
The Passenger
DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake
Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Twist and Shout
Post Soothing Out

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response

[…] a newish video from Princeton, a four-piece rock/pop band from Santa Monica, California. I saw them live last October when they opened for Art Brut here in D.C. I really liked them because they did a good job engaging the audience – not always an easy […]

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

E-mail us  |  RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us