Brandishing the devil horns signs with their hands, the Beautiful New Born Children walk on stage. Barely seconds pass before they’re thrashing into their first song, and barely a minute passes before it clatters to a halt. They pause to grab their breath, and they’re off again.

Their debut album may only be 23 minutes long, but the band seem to be eager to set a new record tonight. They pause after the second song to ask the audience to guess where they’re from. It turns out to be Germany, although that isn’t made clear. In an example of the German sense of humour, perhaps, the "where are we from" line is repeated throughout the night. The man behind the sense of humour is Michael Beckett, the man behind Kpt.Michi.Gan and the guitarist with electronica outfit Schneider TM. With the Beautiful New Born Children he’s thrown away his computers and gone back to basics.

That said, the Beautiful New Born Children do have a large amount of charisma, and the three-chord thrashy punk jams they play are endearing, even if many of them do sound suspiciously similar. The third song in the set, 'Do the Do', however, has more of a stomping swagger to it, and has a discernible beat, which instantly distinguishes it from the preceding two numbers.

They are more than your basic ramalamalama-merchants, this lot, although they suffer from their more melodic songs being less, well, fun, than the trashy thrashy throwaway stuff.

'All We Have Is Love' falls into the same trap, being a bluesy stamper, but lacking the immediacy of the songs where you can’t hear what Beckett’s singing.

Unsurprisingly the punky tracks, to which the band return frequently, are the more interesting and the more fun. 'Hey People!', the title track of the band’s album, is good, but takes three entertaining attempts to finally get going. It’s about “what goes on round our way”, apparently. It’s the best song of their set by a little way, being an accurate synthesis of the band’s two halves demonstrated up to now. There’s the frantic vocals and the punk guitars, but mixed in with a steady, strong beat. It’s got shades, or more, of 1990's Britpop, oddly.

All this time, there’s been one solitary dancer frantically getting down at the front of the diminishing crowd. Beckett sees him and looks him up and down, then says “Mange Tak” (many thanks). It’s to no avail, as the guy finally looks around him and gives up, halfway through the last song. No matter, the band are still enjoying themselves. “Au revoir,” Beckett says cheerily as they leave the stage, “as they say round our way.”












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