First up was Rasha Shaheen debuting her first album - a self penned affair entitled HATSHEPSUT.
She was backed by a massive collection of musicians with chosen friends stepping from the audience to assist on various tracks fleshing out the guitar/bass/drums and vocal basis of the sound and moving it about in lots of interesting directions.
Only having seen her in the experimental duo the ‘Hard Returns’ it was lovely to soak up the personal vibe she was creating. I liked the sweet sounding song one minute then next guitars like razors aesthetic that was in play on the night. This was all swathed in a delightfully breathy dead pan delivery, not unlike the girlie from 'Linoleum'.
She certainly knew how to put on a show as well - every track was accompanied by a moody video, covering the songs in lavish colours and semi abstract shapes that were further embellished with the actual performance super-imposed over the top.
Next up was Emily Breeze and Dobermen. It was lovely to see her again (hadn’t seen Emily perform since she supported Devendra Banhart back in 2004) – her unique 'abused' guitar style, those hard and angular riffs and sweetly dark vocals that wooed you in seductively only to tear your head clean off.
Her set was somewhat blighted by some tuning problems but when they re-commenced any disappointment quickly dissipated in the heady brew the band continued to create. The drums and bass crashing around nicely giving a heavy base for the other guitars to lash out from, the secondary guitar inflating Emily’s blissfully constricted guitar style as she screamed the vocals with a semi-snarled eroticism.
The songs had some very interesting and sometimes intentionally awkward rhythms that literally exploded in semi-controlled violence with the ‘slasher’ movies projected behind adding to the experience. I loved every minute, a willing captor in the sleazy air of desire and revenge they so expertly worked through.
What a fantastic night…and a great start for a young label.