Flux + Support (Box, 17-Jul-2009)

As I may have stated (ad nauseum) indie isn’t really my bag (unless you’re talking Ned’s Atomic Dustbin or Carter USM or any other proper indie band) but I missed Flux at Whatfest and having heard good things about them I thought I’d make an attempt to get to Indie Night at the Box, and it turns out it was well worth the effort and has renewed my faith in Friday night.

The crowd size at the Box is, more often than not, a little on the disappointing side, so it was nice to see a higher body-count than usual; far from a capacity crowd, but still a respectable turnout.  Things kicked off with Insult to Injury, a neo-punk outfit with a tasty line in lyrical-but-non-melodic vocals, catchy riffs, and an edgy sound that had unholy but engrossing echoes of CBGBs-era NY hardcore with a whiff of the Streets. I’m no expert on the genre, but if they were indie then I’m a Dutchman!  (Om te verduidelijken, ben ik niet Nederlands!)

Calling Shotgun were next, and like their predecessors they were decidedly non-indie; if I were forced to pigeon-hole them I’d go for thrash metal, minus the spandex and stupidity, and with a bit more ear for a tune. Rapid-fire riffery, tappity-tappity solos, and scorching vocals formed the body of a high-energy set that showed a great deal of promise of things to come, and despite looking like James circa 1990 they were anything but miserable.

Act three, the late booking of Birmingham’s Greenwood Park, combined blues with the stoner-rock sounds of Monster Magnet, and the resulting fuzz was a joy to the ears — it was the perfect slow-motion soundtrack, managing to find the perfect blend of head-noddery and repetition with a sense of melancholy joy (a confluence best experienced when sat in the sunshine, chronic in hand).  Birmingham may be a far cry from LA, but if this is anything to go by the two are more similar than one may think.

Although described as indie, headliners Flux were again not a band I’d consider placing in that genre; modern indie, to my ancient ear, is self-indulgent, whiny, and faintly irritating, attributes that are as far as it’s possible to get from Flux without falling over.  Not as heavy as metal, not as spiky as punk, they had a sound and an energy that can only have been achieved with a lot of hard work and raw talent; the fact that they managed to sound fresh despite this being their second gig of the day speaks volumes!

All in all, this was the least indie Indie Night in a while, and an encouraging sign of things to come — great bands, reasonable crowd, and a lively atmosphere.


1 Response to “Flux + Support (Box, 17-Jul-2009)”

  1. July 18, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    hey, was just wondering if you had any other pics of insult to injury that you could send me??

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