Purson - Madame Jojo's, London
The camp theatre of Soho backstreets seems a fitting setting for this evening's musical shenanigans: three bands not exactly shying away from a few over-the-top aural adventures, with the fashion sense to match. So we descend into the den of inequity otherwise known as Madame Jojo's and enter what can only be described as the other side of Austin Powers' world...
Tonight's opening outfit The Wytches are an odd lot to say the least. Sounding something like an old surf rock band the wrong side of a few too many bad LSD trips whilst watching Hammer films, whatever you may think of it, they are certainly unique. Most of these twisted, bizarre sea shanties decay into heavy walls of noise, a raw and visceral rage. Think The Coral both fucked up and fucked off.
Equally, The Hypnotic Eye have also taken an innocent, even naïve brand of music in the form of 60s pop, coerced it into an establishment of questionable repute and created a smiling, happy, unhinged monster. Sped up like a 33 played at 78, the catchy melodies and sugar candy girl vocals are still there, but this is dark, malevolent, man-eating pop definitely not for the easily led.
Stepping straight out of the early Seventies, Purson are a band living up to the hype. Launching into a scintillating 'Spiderwood Farm', it has it all – devilishly good riffs, white hot solos, and Rosalie Cunningham's wondrous voice.
There is little doubt as to who the star of the show is here. Looking like the sweeter, darker sister of the Witchfinder General, Rosalie keeps the audience enrapt, and importantly not with looks alone. Just to watch her fingers dance over the fretboard during 'Mavericks And Mystics' is a joy. Oh, what sweet music they make!
But it is not a one woman band, not by any stretch. Sam Shovel is a wizard on the keys, adding such a lush backdrop to the set, and not afraid at times to take centre stage with some dizzying electronic swirls. George Hudson's equally impressive work on both six and twelve strings, is another cornerstone of what is quickly becoming the Purson sound.
And all too quickly the night is done. These colourful streets appear just a little drab after this spectacle, a little less exciting and exotic. Until next time.