sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

CocknBullKid @ ICA w/th Sparklemotion Dancers, Your Twenties, Plugs

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Sparklemotion Dancers, Your Twenties, Plugs


with DJ support from: New Young Pony Club, Florence and The Machine, Frank Music.

It’s a big night for thecocknbullkid, for tonight she headlines the ICA in her biggest show to date. 2008 ended on a high with thecocknbullkid, aka Anita Blay, blasting herself into the public eye by appearing on Jools Holland and supporting the likes of Metronomy and CSS. She’s currently holed up in the studio tinkering on new songs but takes a break tonight to celebrate the release of single ‘I’m Not Sorry’ (Moshi Moshi), and she’s assembled an incredible hip list to help her make sure tonight goes off.


First up are the incendiary Plugs, previously famed for including ‘that one what’s out of Does It Offend You Yeah?’,  but soon to be huge in their own right. ‘I wish we weren’t on so early’, says affable bassist Dave five minutes before bounding onto stage and breaking up a conversation about mixing a uni love of hardcore to their discovery of electronic music, ‘but I’m not going to complain about it, It’s the ICA baby.’ Sentiments echoed by Morgan Quaintance as he launches into a set featuring exuberant versions of ‘Imaginary Friend’, ‘Real Celebrities’ and a bombastic version of ‘That Number’. ‘We were going to not play and just stand here, you know be conceptual…but then realised that would SUCK’ grins Morgan before gathering up his guitar and summoning up another gutteral squall.  Like a cross between Hendrix, Daft Punk and the Minutemen they lurch, chant and wail around the stage sucking all and sundry out of their bar bound nonchalance and front and centre to bear witness. It’s a massive statement of intent from what will be one of the hottest bands of 2009.

Once the Plugs have been safely switched off it’s back into the bar for some much needed replenishment, and a swift glance over at the decks reveals none other than Florence Welch monitoring the action. Amusing moment of the evening comes when saying hi to Florence and getting a look of such abject terror I had to check myself and wonder if I’d actually greeted the flame haired songstress with some hideous threat. However, after explaining that i had in fact interviewed her last year via the medium of phone and just wanted to say thank you she soon became very charming and affable.  ‘It’s a bit weird’, she states of the DJ-ing process and you expect she might be happier belting out her own songs on the stage tonight but none the less she exhibits a music taste as eclectic as you’d suspect, from hardcore to beats, making the excessive bar queue fly away. So seductive indeed are the DJs that they later cause me to miss Sparklemotion Dancers which I am informed is to my severe detriment!

Plugs again

Back in the live room it’s Your Twenties. Led by Gabriel Metronomy, they blast through 30 minutes of delirious quirkpop, cementing the statement they CARE about backing vocals. It raises the question, why are ironic songs about Britpop actually better than 90% of actual Britpop ever was? Back in the bar Frankmusic are rocking the decks with calculated aplomb.

When thecocknbullkid finally takes to the stage it sinks in what an overpowering array of good music has been on display tonight, and fears of an anti-climatic flop begin to creep in. Yet such fears are brushed aside like the wayward upstarts they are as Blay launches into a tempo perfect set of GraceJonesonmeth fueled dirty electro bombs. Single ‘I’m Not Sorry’ is even more infectious live and has the assembled bouncing off the walls. It’s the perfect pinnacle to an essential evenings listening.


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