dea Lesson No.1: September 2005

Monday, September 26


Brutalist noise-rockers Melt Banana need no introduction, but then we'd have nothing to write and that would be a tragedy, so here goes. Born in Tokyo in 1993, MB - that is, vocalist Yasuko Onuki, guitarist Agata, bassist Rika Mm', and drummer Sudoh Toshiaki - have built a reputation as one of the most inspired and idiosyncratic bands in experimental hardcore, crafting futuristic, 90-second noisescapes characterised by shrill vocals and demanding, complex dynamics.

A fine website called Ink 19, meanwhile, put it thus: "No wave without the self-conscious pretension, avant-garde composition compressed into one-minute-or-less bursts, urgency, intricate destruction, pure glorious abandon. MELT-BANANA play the same way that Repulsion, Naked City, The Ruins, or The Boredoms all make you want to scream and dance and kill your neighbors. This is not music that we are conditioned to accept. This is you delirious with joy scraping your five senses off the floor." Hear an MP3, 'Rough Dogs', here

Also on the bill: Cardiff's Shooting At Unarmed Men, aka Mclusky refugee J.Chapple, sometime King Alexander minion Simon Alexander, and a gentleman called Mogs, who drums. Jon has already called this "support slot of the year", although they haven't yet put it in their gig listings, suggesting they're just being kind and they're not that bothered at all. The Keep: a relatively new band who can mostly be found lurking around the South Wales Massive forum - this tendril of the Lesson No.1 empire must confess he hasn't heard them, but Noel Lesson No.1 said nice stuff about Isis and Pelican, so heads up for that. And finally, Vicelords - a wild card by anyone's stretch of the imagination, it's their debut gig, it involves Adam who used to play bass in Mountain Men Anonymous, and if promises become reality, it's going to get right in your face and fuck with you. Anyway, this all takes place November 15th at Clwb Ifor Bach, and tickets are available now from Spillers and the University box office.

Lesson No.1 are also preparing to begin a monthly residency at the Buffalo Bar (formerly BSB on Windor Place). There will be loud music, and an occasional music quiz, which will be hosted by Gindrinker's DC Gates. We need a name for the bugger, though. If anyone has any ideas, email them to us. There's a litterful of puppies up for grabs.

Apologies for the monochromatic content of today's post

Thursday, September 22


Incredible show the other night - all the bands pulled a blinder, and if you came out, we thank you from the bottom of our putrid bucket of cow's hearts. Personal highlights would have to be a) The appearance of Doddodo, a little Japanese girl from Scotch Egg's Wrong Music gang. We didn't even know she was coming down until that morning, but as soon as she crawled out of the toilet with a strange head-dress and a microphone rammed in her mouth in an unhygenic and faintly erotic way we knew something curious was afoot. And, b) Philip Best's Consumer Electronics set. Must confess, we had some bad dreams about him being bottled off, as his two-piece Whitehouse were at the ATP Easy To Swallow event, and the fact everyone stayed transfixed all set is of great satisfaction to us.

Incidentally, the main vocal riff of his 30-minute set went something like this:

"Now imagine, now imagine
A ballet
A ballet at the Welsh National opera
For six hundred brown nosed children around ten
We’ll be wearing special costumes
And carrying baseball bats, studded with nails
It’d be like clubbing seals
As we wheel across the stage
Harvesting our crop
Imagine how hot we’d get
Imagine their little faces looking up"

As Keith Lesson No.1, now sadly departed for greener shores, said: "Put this man on the English curriculum now!"

There are some videos too, but oh shit they're big, and they won't stay up for long. Click here for USAISAMONSTER, crashing into the Lesson No.1 cameraman in an exciting moment of mid-gig aggression. Consumer Electronics vid coming soon.

So much more to write, and so little time: forthcoming posts on Melt Banana, Neptune, and the Lesson No.1 pub quiz (oh yes) just mere days away...

Thursday, September 15


You might have caught Pro Forma supporting Les Georges Leningrad in Cardiff Dempseys earlier on this year. The show was great, but we couldn't get the glitterball Gary uses for Twisted By Design to work, so when they asked if we could come back we thought we'd put them in somewhere a little more fitting of their 'council house' sound; that is, Material - a weekly mutant disco shindig that goes on over at Moloko on Mill Lane. Supporting are Bristol's Sexy Bitch, and best of all, it's FREE ENTRY. So whether you're just coming along to drink strong imported lager, or you're planning to rifle through Pro Forma guitarist Chris Leo's bag in search of some worn underpants, it's what we like to call 'the right price'.

Don't forget the USA show on Monday. It's going to be a biggie.

Buy Melt Banana tickets at the Clwb website, or from the good folk at Spillers

Saturday, September 3


It is of crucial importance that you view the video to DJ Scotch Egg's Scotch Chicken. Our Scotchie tears up the lanes of Brighton, engages in Street Fighter-style combat with a man in a chicken suit, and finally triumphs over his avian foe with the help of a bunch of 14-year olds. If only The Chart Show was still running.

Last week's noise spectacular at the Full Moon in Bristol was an eye-opener. A bloke from up North calling himself The Bear Faced Boy covered the stage in blood and broken glass. Load Records dude Prurient stripped to the waist and thrashed around, screaming and swinging double microphones like nunchukas. A young woman called Jessica Rylan sung poems and triggered strange washes of sound from ann unruly laptop. Oh, and we chatted to Philip 'Consumer Electronics' Best, who appears to be a lovely gentleman; he gave us a copy of 'Teenage Nuremberg' (possibly the most horrible record ever) and emphasised just how much he was looking forward to the Cardiff show. You're in for a treat. Incidentally, the promoters Abrasive have more "very harsh" shows coming up - more at their website.

Other Lesson No.1 news: there's a free show towards the end of the month we've organised in collaboration with our friends from Moloko club night Material, featuring our friends from the North (er, Scotland actually) Pro Forma and new Bristol disco-punk types Sexy Bitch. Also, we've got a big November show in the offing... but until it's set in stone, we'll have to keep it under wraps. Sorry.