Veronica Falls

Dispatch: Ultimate Painting, The Bellybuttons and Vital Idles at Mono

Mono is barely at half capacity when Vital Idles take to the stage at Mono on Friday night, and more's the pity - they steal the show. Featuring former Golden Grrrl Ruari MacLean on bass, Vital Idles have a scratchy, garage-y vibe (some kind of loose triangulation of Flying Nun, Slumberland and 53 & 3rd), a droll coolness, an understated intensity.

 Not many bands can pull off a Smiths cover, but they make 'Jeane' their own and it isn't even the best song in the set, not by a long shot. They're into the music, and they don't give a fuck if you're even listening - you should, of course, because 'vital' is an entirely apposite descriptor.


The Bellybuttons have a tough act to follow, but they have a certain free-and easy swagger about them that makes them easy to like (they also appear to have the happiest bass player in the world). They sound a lot like Pavement, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a relatively long set renders proceedings more samey than they ought to be.


By the time Ultimate Painting take to the stage, the venue is rammed. They are the obvious professionals of the night, everything is very together, and that's understandable given Jack Cooper and James Hoare have toured so much over the last few years with their different bands (Mazes and Veronica Falls/Proper Ornaments respectively). It's frustrating to listen to a set where all the songs are the same speed (mid-tempo), especially when they have so much potential. They have a great sound and melodies in spades - how couldn't they given their pedigree? - but there's a lack of dynamic variation and a certain spark, an energy, that they could do with carrying across from their other bands. Their potential is massive, but they need to remember to shift gear every now and then.

Photos by Erika Sella. Words by Andrew R. Hill.

Freitags #3

Freitags #3. Every Friday we post links to news, articles, media, events and other assorted sources of distraction that we've unearthed through the week. This week features: Pierrot le Fou, Vertigo magazine on Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Brody's Everything Is CinemaAmour and Electric Sheep Magazine's interview with director Michael Haneke, a new video and tour dates from Veronica Falls, the announcement of Golden Grrrls debut LP on Night School and Slumberland, and a quick nod to this weekend's Neu! Reekie and VIC.ism events.

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Welcome to our inaugural Freitag. Every Friday we'll be posting links to news, articles, media, events and other assorted sources of distraction that we've unearthed through the week. Topics this week  include: Jonathan Meades (via The Quietus), Francis Bacon (via The Guardian), Ealing Studios (via the BFI), Alfred Hitchcock (via the FIlmhouse), Avalanche Records and Veronica Falls.

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