Quintron & Miss Pussycat, The Nuns, Private Trousers @ Tufnell Park Dome
Quintron & Miss Pussycat, The Nuns, Private Trousers
Tufnell Park Dome. 22oct10.
Private Trousers work around all kinds of rinky-dink, clatter and smiley business in their opening few numbers, then all of a sudden it pulls back and reveals a further depth, one that suggests the macabre carnival, brooding like a clown plotting a murder. Then it’s back up again to knockabout end-of-the-pier wonky bobs and the kind of tunes you might found soundtracking the capers of a vaudeville tumbler.
Next up, The Nuns. Well, what else would you name an all female Monks tribute act? Mind you, where the act they are attributing to shaved large monk-style tonsures into their scalps, The Nuns show a little less commitment to the cause, with only four of the six turned out in wimples. That said, their commitment to the music is not in question, and is not a kitschfest either, being a by-and-large straightforward, and thus delightfully lively, homage (albeit with the bend on the gender).
Sister Lolo Of The Five Wounds’ vox are a lot drier than Gary Burger’s original careering style that sounded like a tyre revving smoke out of asphalt, but otherwise it’s all pretty faithful. The highlights of their half hour are a particularly vigorous Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy and a terrific Oh, How To Do Now dedicated by banjo strummer Debbie Smith (ex- of Curve and Echobelly) to the recently passed Ari Up.
Embracing a Monks-like spirit in their music, Quintron & Miss Pussycat shows are, however, not just about tunes, as they also embrace puppetry. Well, I say embrace, it’s a crushing bear hug really as the first ten minutes of their set is a full-on seaside style show, Punch & Judy in the most Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds sense. It’s the psychedelic end of twee, often thousand-yard-star creepy, and no half-assed effort either. There are tigers, elephants, car chases, spilled blood, beheadings, prison breakouts and ‘secret pizza’ while their large puppeteer’s booth eventually becomes the puppet itself. If tonight is to cuddle up to kitsch and novelty, this is the point we break out the pyjamas and start to spoon.
Still, this is all part of Quintron/Pussycat experience, and after something for the child within us, Quintron walks out suited and booted, slides onto his stool, brings down his palm on the button to start up his own patented Drum Buddy drum machine, stabs repeatedly at his hi-hat pedal with his left foot and lets loose his hands across the keys of his Hammond/Rhodes combo organ like two puppies chasing each other up and down stairs.
Next to him, the maraca-wielding Miss Pussycat hops about like a toddler trying to stamp conkers into wet turf, contributing sharp vocals against and around Quintron’s unbuttoned-shirt rock n’ roll howl. Theirs is a music for garage dance parties, for nightclubs not afraid to set the mirrorball rapidly spinning and, in future, for a youth schooled on episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba.
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