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The (International) Noise Conspiracy Garage, 6th May 2002

What to do on a Bank Holiday Monday evening? Over the weekend Kitten checks out The (International) Noise Conspiracy's website. There's a video clip for 'The Reproduction Of Death'. The singer is hurling his mic in the air, catching it with panache, before shimmying, shaking and star jumping. The screen fizzes with electricity. This is exciting. Kitten is sold.

To The Garage then, for some Swedish, er garage. Kitten finds herself accidentally in the front-row, resting on the barrier, which gives her paws a metallic smell, urgh. No matter, she has a grandstand view of the onstage shenanigans. Dressed in outfits that are identical down to the lightning flash stitching on the back pockets of their matching jeans along with sawn-off sleeved 'A New Morning' (their latest album) tee-shirts black converse baseball boots, and black barnets, T(I)NC have the band as gang/military faction thang down perfectly.

onstage shenanigans
The music is, yup, more garage rock. Obviously no bad thing if it's done well. This time round, the emphasis is on rock with a sprinkling of soul stylings. Singer, Dennis, judging from his eyebrows a man who's never been told that blondes shouldn't dye their hair raven black, is a hyper hurricane of constant, dizzying activity. Along with the star-jumps and mic catching, there's a cornucopia of knee drops, handsprings and soft-shoe shuffles that would put Wigan Casino's finest movers to shame. The rest of the band vibrate around him, making use of what's left of the stage space as best they can. Kitten is pleased to see solitary female member and incredibly cool thing, Sara, weighing in on guitar. Disappointingly, after the first couple of songs, she becomes the band's odd job man/jack of all trades playing a bit of organ here, some maracas there and shaking a tambourine like it's a weapon of mass destruction.
incredibly cool thing
According to the bands website, Dennis and guitarist Lars had long envisioned a band that 'would be the perfect symbiosis of Elvis and Che Guevara'. With the formation of T(I)NC that formula was changed to 'The Who and Deboard' (is the mis-spelling of the latter a Situationist joke?) which is as good a way as any of neatly summing up the rock/political raison d'être of the band. It's good to see a dose of Marxist rhetoric being hollered at today's pop kids, especially as there's nothing po-faced or Red-Wedgey about songs like the fantastically titled 'United by Haircuts' and the fab grab you round the neck and shake you 'til you dance 'Capitalism Stole My Virginity'. Like nearly every garagey band, it's a rocking good sound, but it can get a bit samey. There are some fantastic grooves that set your hips shaking, like the 'Hanging On The Telephone' sparkle of 'Up For Sale' and 'Breakout 2001' with it's thunderous riff sounding like The Fall's 'Cruisers Creek'. Ultimately, putting aside all the showmanship, some of the songs sag a little, floundering from lack of direction and good tunes.
United by Haircuts
Dennis rallies us Never mind, Dennis rallies us by talking about the current pro-Fascist horrors occurring in France, pointing out that the scary thing isn't that 18 per cent voted for the evil Le Pen, but the fact that anyone at all voted for him. It's good to hear someone expressing their horror like this and makes a change from the usual politically apathetic arena that is a rock gig. As the set rattles to a close, the band line up and give the clenched fist salute to the crowd before marching off into the night, leaving us to contemplate their words, 'All our heroes are dead or corrupt'.
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