Archie Bronson Outfit, Joe Gideon and the Shark
Nancy Roxx 21/03/2007
Tonight's support comes from Joe Gideon and The Shark, a brother/sister duo from London, formerly of Bikini Atoll. Viva possesses a multitude of musical talents, including the capacity to play drums, guitar, piano, eight track, glockenspiel and sing pretty much simultaneously. (You have to see it to believe it). Fronting this seeming one woman band is Joe with his guitar and gravely voice. The lyrics tell dark and mesmerising stories set to heavy but melodic instrumentation. Quite unlike any performance I have ever seen, these two pull off an excellent, genuine and rich sound.
Archie Bronson Outfit step out, then, bearded and dressed in jeans as expected. The eerily beautiful, distinctive growling heaviness of guitar twangs and weighty raging drums fill the Scala immediately in one gigantic swoop. The sheer loudness is somewhat euphoric (for those of us who live for a breed of raw music anyway). Got To Get (your eyes) has feet stomping and heads bobbing from its initial chord, the crowd like obedient servants to their rocking masters whom are playing the fuck out of their instruments up on a purple and blue lit stage.
The aggressive bluesy essence of angry heartfelt love songs are being screamed out, howled even, by Sam Windett as tune after infectious tune roll out. It's a totally unforgiving sound. The volume levels seem to be erring on dangerous, but it would appear that it can't be loud enough for the listeners, both feeding off and wallowing in its magnitude. The gorgeous drawling guitars, dirty bass lines and electric instrumentation (here I must mention the ambidextrous saxophonist who plays two of the aforementioned instruments at once), all throttle you at your very core, reminding you of what it feels like to feel as the tracks burn fervently. All is lost in a sound that conjures images of hot desert nights and abandoned cottages deep in the dark woods.
Songs bellow forth from debut Fur and 2006's Derdang Derdang. A rough edged, emotive and gripping collection of material shouting in the face of emotional anguish. Previous single Cherry Lips and Dead Funny are as immense and powerful in delivery as everything we are hearing tonight. 'Dart For My Sweetheart' thunders through the venue (and every individual). Its singing and dancing value are priceless and this tune is without a doubt the highlight of this evenings proceedings, both in terms of performance and reception. Some fans choose to dance, sing along, mosh even to the energised set, while others opt to prop up walls and simply succumb to the atmosphere and enveloping sound.
Archie Bronson Outfit are one of those bands that are unlikely to 'sound like they do on record' when doing it live, simply because their sound is so unique and in ways even experimental. The most exciting attribute being that it's 100% alive in its own exceptional and passionate right. It's not all their fault that the sound was not an exact replica of what floods forth from your speakers at home; a few cross words were addressed to the sound engineers and something went wrong with an amp resulting in its removal. “That's what happens when you have shitty old instruments” shares Windett. Well, those “shitty old instruments” sounded pretty good tonight.