Monday, February 21, 2005

Rude Mechanicals @ APU Student Union

Well what can I say? Well, imagine if the Doors crossed there sound with that of Velvet Underground and then replaced Jim Morrison's poetic prowess (some say lunacy) with that of a theatrical female, going by the name Miss Roberts, wearing a large blonde wig, with a painted face and also wearing an elegant white dress... If you think you can do this then you may have some semblance of what the Rude Mechanicals look and sound like.

They are undoubtedly the best band I have seen in Cambridge for a good while. They were a completely original sound and had a unique approach to performance. What unfolded in the APU Student Union wasn't just another band doing a gig, it was a band that was theatrically performing their music. The lead singer, Miss Roberts, stole the show with her strange antics which included getting the crowd to shout 'hurrah' after each song and getting the crowd to suck marshmallows during one particular song.

On the Live Experimental Arts Performance Society (LEAPS) website its says of the bands origins and style:
The Rude Mechanicals started out playing as a scratch band at LEAPS events in Cambridge. It is through LEAPS that the other members came across Miss Roberts performing her surreal and absurd poetry/performance art. They describe their music as Absurd Rock and their performances are often very theatrical having included such things as lessons in toe sucking, the mythology of Derek: the man
who lives in the loft, and instructions on DIY flying.
The band well and truly split the audience down the middle and that even included the group of people I was there with. After not very long of the performance the notion of giving up on 'this strange shit' and going on to the Kambar (an alternative/rock night club) was raised. I decided to stay put and see the evening out. I loved this band and will be endevouring to go and see them again although I am unlikely to get much support from my friends in this venture. I will try and get some pictures of the band next time I see them.

The best song of the set was 'Big Red House' which wouldn't have been out of place on The Doors' album 'Waiting For The Sun'. I recommend the more strong-minded and the more musically-liberated give it a listen on the bands website.

If my rating of a gig is worth anything I'd give this band a 4/5 for sound (the vocals weren't loud enough at some points) and 5/5 for stage presence.

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