After the total wash out of Sunday’s Jubilee celebrations, we approached Mondays gig with a touch of trepidation— was it going to be an chilly, sodden nightmare? Whilst the Queen can still get a million royalist maniacs to brave the vilest weather England can muster, we weren’t so sure. Luckily, we didn’t have to find out, fate was on our side, and miraculously the rain stayed away. The static boat Tamesis Dock filled up with happy, increasingly ‘refreshed’ music fans and our four bands delivered excellent, individual shows.
First, setting up on the floor amongst the audience (this was to become the norm for all the bands, and made for a great atmosphere, with fans and artists eye to eye...) came Cold in Berlin and their icicle gothic punk. Playing a gig of deadly serious coldwave in the lower deck of the Tamesis Dock while the sun was still shining up top was always going to be hard, but the 4 piece rose to the occasion, singer My spitting, leaping, kicking and whirling across the stage, terrifying and compelling the audience alike. Underneath My’s theatrics, CiB carved out 40 minutes of frozen guitar shards underpinned by rigidly funky post punk bass lines. They wear their influences on their sleeve— primarily Siouxsie, and early Cure and are none the worse for it.
Next came the anarchic joy of Fat White Family. Despite breaking in a new keyboard player—former keys man Nathan having gone to travel Europe – the Fat Whites started off tighter than ever, with their usual opener Auto Neutron an escalating atomic bomb of rumble and guitar. As ever singer Lias, sharp in a cream suit, played up to his misanthropic jester character. Snarling, and chuckling, he stalked around the crowd, rolled on the floor and at one point pulling down his trousers and wedging a Union Jack flag between his arse cheeks. It may not be necessary, but it’s always entertaining. There’s pure infectious pleasure and catharsis to Fat White Family—every band member singing all the words to the songs whether they have a mic or not, simply because they love them. This carried over to the crowd, mosh pits breaking out and sweaty grins all round. Every time we've seen them they've been electric, inventive, slightly crazed, funny and menacing-- in short everything you could possibly want from a rock n roll band.
After Fat White Family came some excellent garage tracks from our DJs while Dignan Porch set up. Dignan Porch are a very different prospect to Fat Whites, and none the worse for it. They’re nice seeming guys (and a girl) dressed in slacker gear, rolling out a grunge sound tinged with an air of sweet melancholy. Between the overdrive heavy rhythm guitar sneak passages of pure hook laden melody, and their college rock songs hint part sorrowfully, part euphorically, at the endless summer of memory. By this time the bottom deck was rammed, with people craning over the mezzanine to catch the show. Dignan Porch have another album coming out later this year on American trend setter label Captured Tracks, and judging from their impact tonight, this may well be the last chance people get to see them in such an intimate setting.
Finally Black Manila take to the stage. Instrumental in helping us organise the gig, (thanks!) Black Manilla were always going to be a great choice of headliner, their 3 piece psychedelic garage tight enough to get a dancefloor moving and heady enough to blow minds. Starting with a loose limbed extended jam, the three of them have found a symbiosis playing live, letting grooves breathe before crashing into songs proper. Latest single and Supajam/ Gibson EP track Fiasco was a highlight, it’s howling, effect laden guitar, throbbing rhythm section and twin vocals pushing the boat into full scale party mode. Relaxed and confident they were the perfect end to the day-- if you still haven't listened to the excellent songs on their soundcloud, get over there now...
All in all a great day out, and, having been on the boat for 9 hours or so we headed home shattered, ears ringing, feet throbbing, but happy—thanks to all the bands for playing, Tamesis Dock for having us, the DJs for their excellent selections, Pat the soundman for doing an incredible job, and most of all, to you lot for coming down and enjoying it so much. See you at the next EP launch in July...
Here's some footage of the gig taken by our genius photographer Lou Smith-- unfortunately tech issues mean that the sound for Cold in Berlin is a little dodgy, but after that it gets a lot clearer, and there's some great footage. There are also more photos from the day over at Lou's page-- http://lousmithmedia.com/2012/06/05/supajam-gibson-jubilee-boat-party/#jp-carousel-1068
If you haven't downloaded the EP yet, you can grab it throughout June from our EP page here