Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Think You'll Be Amazed... Again

The Dirty Skirts Album Launch: Daddy Don’t Disco 20 June 2008 at the Alexander Theatre, Johannesburg
It was the day after I had had my wisdom teeth out and having lost an entire evening of gigging, I was itching to get out and jam to some good local music. What better event then, than the Dirty Skirts’ launch for their new album, Daddy Don’t Disco? My parents were anxious, concern being their parental duty I guess, but I headed out eagerly to the Alexander Theatre, armed with painkillers, GPS and the knowledge that I was on the VIP list for what I knew would be one of my gigs of the year! And oh, it was… I have been a fan of the Skirts since their debut album was released in 2005, so of course I was more than eager to see what their new album had in store for their enormous base of avid supporters. For me, the show started the second I walked in. After getting a considerably alarmed looked from some Joburg boy when I popped a small white pill with my Vodka (they were prescribed pain meds, I swear) and disobeying the doctor’s strict orders of no alcohol/cigarettes for a week, I took time taking in the venue. Every surface was covered with either projections, photos or enormous banners adorned with the album title. From the roof hung countless records with electric yellow lightning bolts zigzagging across them. Being a theatre, the venue’s sound was phenomenal! The volume matched the clarity flawlessly, making for a show that will weld its memory into the brain of every person that was there. The band took the stage, with lead vocalist Jeremy fully clad in white and sporting his usual quirky glasses. On disc, he is one very talented vocalist with a lot to live up to. But I am afraid to say that live… He is just that much better! I was astonished by the performance, immediately convinced I could never word the experience adequately. Jeremy had his crowd entirely absorbed in what he was doing, his incredible voice projecting into overt facial expressions and lucid hand gestures that made their music come to life, breathing awe into everyone listening. I was a touch disappointed with the (lack of) length of the set, albeit only because I could have endured hours more of such music. The performance was exactly what one envisions for a live show: dark, sweaty, a bit cramped, but unforgettable, with illustrious verve on stage and a discharge of absolute talent! The new album incorporates a sound similar to their usual Indie Rock, though this time it is considerably more alternative. There is a far more prominent electronica stroke this time round, with tracks such as “Witches Bewitch Us” keeping things eerie yet unique. The lyrics differ from track to track, with some being peculiar, some simple and others downright exquisite, with lines that will haunt your thoughts with their sheer invention. The album is fairly toned-down, with nothing too overbearing. But that’s not to say it won’t blow your mind, merely that you can listen to it repeatedly without wearing it thin. I have no doubt these boys will knock the socks off the Pohms during their UK Tour in August, but I can hardly wait for them to get back home so I can experience them all over again.

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