The Bull and Gate in Kentish Town was a rather busy venue for a Monday night, on 29 September 2003. This was (I assume) largely due to the quality and variety of music on offer.
First band on, Bushbaby, set the standard with an exceptional collection of songs that ranged from bouncy pop-rock to dark post-grunge. The common theme throughout their set was the blend of unforgettable hooks and pure energy. Bushbaby have been compared with early Feeder and their performance really was deserving of that kind of praise.
Brigade were unlucky enough to have to follow on from Bushbaby’s performance. This was, they admitted, their first London gig – but in my opinion they actually did rather well even if their inexperience told slightly during the intermissions between each song.
Their wall of noise instrumental style created an pleasing contrast to the Molko-esque vocals and there was plenty of movement on stage. Brigade should receive a warm welcome for any return gigs.
Headline act Ripchord were a surprising act. First impressions suggested a heavy rock band made up of proficient musicians. This was instantly dispelled as the music demonstrated unusual depth with a latin feel to the guitar rhythm.
Ripchord’s stint on stage contained a couple of memorable tunes delivered by the front man with real guts and feeling.