As ‘Dirty Dancing’ starlet Jennifer Grey so succintcly put it back in 1987, "Nobody puts The Victorian English Gentlemens' Club in the corner."

It’d be insulting to suggest Cardiff’s favourite ear-pummelers are merely trying to usurp their second on the bill status to tonight’s headliners, Sons And Daughters. Why bother with the small stuff when you can put a real effort in and make a concerted attempt to catch the glassy eye of the Hubble telescope, hurtling around the deepest darkest reaches of the solar system ?

The Victorian English Gentlemens Club are a little bit art, a little bit brute and a whole lot of Tourette’s-style yelping. Stalking on stage resplendent in retro glam evening gowns (tub thumper Emma and bassist Louise) and blond floppy Swedish 70's porn star hair (singer Adam), they look like a trio of style-conscious mental asylum inmates. And they rock like the Young Knives doing PCP with the Breeders. No riff is too disjointed, and no tune too waywardly deliquent to be turned away by the VEGC. As if to add to the sense of divine torture, the whole thing is overlaid with splattering drums and juddering electronic sound effects courtesy of their uncredited fourth member, a black box of tricks in the corner that possibly doubles up as one of those electric shock ‘interrogation’ devices favoured by 70's Latin American juntas.

A keener melodic sense would give them the pop/noise armoury that’s helped Jack White clean up over the past few years, but, despite that 18 carat twinkle in Louise’s eye, they don’t seem like the types to pander to popular taste. Feel free to share your opinions with them if you must. We’ll be the ones hiding in a nuclear bunker while you do it.


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Russell Ferguson
















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