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LondonNet Clubs Guide

LondonNet Gig Review


Photo courtesy of In There Records. Country Teasers
Gin Palace
Headless
Semi-Finalists

12/02/05

Buffalo Bar
259 Upper Street N1 1RU
tel: 020 7359 6191
travel: Tube/BR: Highbury And Islington


Weird Science
Scotland's Country Teasers rant and rave...

When Country Teasers front man Ben Waller hastily slurred "Ok, thank you, yes, we'll do an encore" seconds after bidding the crowd good night, a few cries of "no!" could distinctly be heard from the Buffalo Bar crowd - cries which were met with silent sneers from those actually there to see Scotland's outlaw purveyors of a bizarre, art-damaged fusion of countrified no-wave and rock'n'roots stomp. The whole scene was indicative of the famously indifferent Teasers' talent for alienating their audience; as true outsiders, they take frequent and hilariously offensive jabs at political correctness and don't care whether people get the joke or not.

The evening had started innocuously enough, with the Semi-Finalists playing their utterly mundane indie rock, which the singer desperately tried to pervert into something resembling avant-garde with a full-face feathered mask that was far more silly than unsettling, which seemed his intention. The night was quickly redeemed, though, as Headless proceeded to rock unabashedly, ripping through a heavy, darkly riff-driven tune about the perspective of a corpse that took the Adverts' classic tune "Gary Gilmore's Eyes", and swathed it in shadowy industrial brooding reminiscent of NYC no-wavers Mars.

Gin Palace then stormed the stage with their furious loud-and-fast ethos, churning out unadulterated punk with front woman Meaghan Wilkie emitting a ferocious wail incongruous with her tiny frame. The Country Teasers took stage without ceremony, taking a few swills of beer before launching into songs from the absurdly long-winded "Secret Weapon Revealed At Last Aka Full Moon Empty Sports Bag". The semi-title track, "Full Moon Empty Sports Bag", and also something of an underground "hit" (as far as any song from the Country Teasers can be called as much), elicited a few cheers of recognition from the crowd. Near the end, Waller made a sort of ranting speech over dissonant notes that was peppered with insults designed to deliberately offend as many people as possible. It wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Waller has little, nay, zero stage presence, but all the inaccessibility is genius in its lack of studiedness.

His deadpan Scottish drawl is more spoken than sung, and although the Teasers's music nods to classic country and industrial, their haphazard cut-and-paste hybrid is entirely original. The Country Teasers's live shows probably won't win them any new fans, but for those for whom the apparently random string of words "Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire" actually carries meaning, Saturday night was a surreal display of unruly and deranged musical brilliance.

Ashley Brown

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