Posts from 22nd October 2005

22
Oct 05

Afrirampo

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The last year has been an odd one for me in gig terms – before last night, the youngest named acts I had seen were Ann Peebles and Iggy, both 58. Ike Turner, Billy Lee Riley, Syl Johnson, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton – all old people. So when I loved a CDR by Afrirampo that a friend gave me, I was very up for seeing them, not just because they are young.

The first act on (not named on the posters, no announcement, so I don’t know who they were) wanted to be a Noize version of Captain Beefheart, but kind of missed the Fall en route and ended up sounding quite like Bogshed. I assume they are very disappointed. Then we got Leopard Leg, which was mostly women hitting many drum kits as fast and hard as they could, plus screaming. I enjoyed it, though their set was short and it kind of felt about enough.

Afrirampo are two Japanese women, one on drums, one on guitar. I thought they were fantastic, mainly thanks to the guitarist. There were strange and experimental parts, inevitably, but much of the time it struck me as simply the best and most thrilling rock and roll guitar playing I have heard in years – power, energy, pace, attack, variety of sound, control, it had it all. She was a strong singer too, but the way the voice, guitar and the comparably punchy drumming all worked together was hugely impressive – this wasn’t just a case of making a lot of noise, this was calculated, and the two were very in tune with each other, very tight, even in the parts where it went beyond what standard notations deal with. I guess it’s kind of hard to see a pair of young Japanese noize women becoming major international rock gods, but I honestly haven’t seen as exciting a rock band since sometime in the ’80s. Also, it was nice to be the oldest punter at a gig again – it’s been a while.