FLAMINGODS / HAMAMAMA / PLEASE | LIVE REVIEW
Sat 19 Jan
words: GARETH MOULE
Cardiff-based Shape Records have arranged one of their ‘functions’ in Gwdihw featuring three new up-and-coming artists. Headlining are the foolishly named Flamingods, supported by Hamamama and Please.
Please is a nervous looking girl doing her best impression of Beach House karaoke, who only lasts three songs because she tells the crowd she’ll cry if she keeps playing. Probably not the best start to the night. Next up is Hamamama, featuring some Cardiff musicians including Sweet Baboo, who play with their hoods up and ramble through some vaguely coherent psych/krautrock jams to a mainly appreciative audience.
London group Flamingods take to a stage cluttered with a drum kit and various other percussive instruments, and proceed to aimlessly meander through a set of hitting drums in unison in a sort of vague, faux-tribal experiment. There’s a guitar and a keyboard in the mix, albeit drowned out by a constant paroxysm of percussion that the black-rimmed glasses and ironic sweaters crowd lap up enthusiastically.
It’s pretty clear that the majority of the band have no real musical talent and choose to play intuitively. Having no formal training at music is not a problem and there are plenty of other great bands who have taught themselves to play, whilst writing some of the most memorable songs in the world. This doesn’t apply to Flamingods. The members needlessly swap instruments between songs for no apparent reason, and play a sort of smug, post-Gang Gang Dance amalgamation of tribal drums with meaningless vocals fed through a delay pedal.
It doesn’t help that they are dressed like rejects from Nathan Barley, including ethnic headdresses and ironic Hard Rock Café t-shirts. It is one of the worst shows I’ve ever been to. It’s a sad reflection on the state of live music that a show of such poor quality is so well attended when there are other promoters putting on more interesting and relevant bands that have to perform to a handful of people. If this is cutting edge, I’m glad to be a square.