review archive

The Ape Drape Escape / The Black Time / The Motherfuckers / The Cut-outs
- The Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green,
22nd October 2005

It's time for a Fortuna Pop! night dahn the 'Unit. This is good 'cos we heart FP! plus the 'Pleasure' (hem hem) Unit, is well local and easy to get to and only requires waiting 46 hours in the freezing cold to take a five minute bus ride. Things start off splendidly with the fab Cut-outs, who are rambly, shambly beat wonderful, chucking out kick-up-your-heels crotchety pop tunes. Plus, tonight Mark has decided to dress as Poodle off of ‘The Flumps’. Class. We love The Cut-outs rah rah rah!

Rah rah rah!
Erk!

Then things starts going unusual. Amongst the audience are dance maestros Hott 2 Trott who excel themselves, pushing the avant urban dance envelope further than they’ve ever pushed it before as a motley parade of bands does their thing in front of the crazy retro wallpaper on the Pleasure Unit stage. The Motherfuckers are wearing skellington masks, ooer. It’s quite a good trick, adding a freakily rubbery dimension to their psycho garage chaos. Crunch, waah! they go, as Matthew Black Time stands right at the front approvingly.

The Black Time are serious rock personages. They have poker faces and skinny leather jackets and whip cranky scuzz sounds from their guitars.

I once saw singer Matthew (with previous garage-fuzz buggars The Hot Wires) slither off the stage at the Metro and proceed to wriggle his way into the horrified audience like a giant malevolent worm of Rock. Tonight he stays on the stage, raybans clamped across his face even when he launches himself in the air from the tippy-toes of sharp white shoes. He is flanked by a wiry supergirl guitarist and a clattering drum-botherer. Between them they whip up an unholy black racket of pared down, sneering rock ‘n’roll.

The Ape Drape Escape are something to behold. They’ve made the effort and got their glad rags on. The keyboard girl has transformed her pristine, shiny bob into a raging rat’s nest, the fearsomely twanging guitar girl has cats ears or something. The drummer is wearing a tutu and ripped pink fishnets. The drummer is a man with a hairy chest. Loony singer man, one eye and half his face scarily covered in blue glitter eye-shadow, rants at the audience for being rubbish and southern/Londoners.

The malevolent worm of ROCK
You sound like my grandmotherrrr! The ADE are from the north you see, so this kind of thing is obligatory. Happily, Hott 2 Trott give good heckle with ‘You sound like my grandmother’ yodelled in a whiney Yank accent. The music is an almighty blast of chanting pogo disco strutting punk glam marvelosity. Chaos and hilarity reign supreme, in much the same way as they do at a good Fonda 500 knees-up. Singing man and his toxicly patterned charity shop shirt make frequent forays into the audience, charging round, demanding people dance. Hott 2 Trott jump up and down merrily but he doesn’t seem to notice this contribution. At one point there’s a chair involved, it’s all a bit of a blur. By the end the band has ended up in a heap on the floor - arms, legs, ‘instruments’ and a bit of pink tutu sticking out. Frankly I’m shocked, appalled and thrilled.
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