The last time I saw The Red Paintings in December was at Camden’s KOKO, and it was just phenomenal. The show completely filled the old theatre’s stage, and the glamour of the building was for once surpassed by the spectacle on stage. The question was whether they could emulate that on the smaller stage. And they don't come any more, let’s say, intimate than the Bodega.

By the time Trash McSweeney and his band hit the stage there was a modest crowd. It would have been a sell out I'm sure if it wasn't for the venue advertising the gig a month later than it actually was. Trash breezed on to the stage in his trademark Egyptian costume, and the accompanying ladies either side were sporting new garb since the last time I saw them. At each side of the stage were their curious but now obligatory art installations. On the left there was an easel and on the right a chap on a chair with an Egyptian headset on.

Kicking off with ‘Dead Children’, it was just as it was in London a couple of months earlier. The art of the Red Paintings knows no barriers. I was dubious I must admit. But as soon as the lead struck up his guitar it was business as usual. Drifting in to ‘It is as It was’, the furious fingers of Trash were frantically working a fever on the strings, the man himself moving back and forth and gazing out into the crowd and telling it like it is. And the set list lasted two songs. Two songs in and they decided that it was time for a re-shuffle. Trash, to make it more rock and roll than rock and roll,destroyed his guitar. As the sound guy handed him another guitar, he quipped as matter of fact as he could "that one was fucked too! I fucked that one up in Bristol. I think! I'll just carry on with this one. Fuck it!" And he did. There were chuckles from the bass player, incidentally the only non Aussie, and the violinist to his left, before they cracked on in true Paintings style. They got around halfway into the set, and the guy on the left with the Egyptian headset continued as he had throughout to just stand there.

Expertly crafting his way through ‘Cinema Love’, ‘Fall of Rome’, ‘Pickles’, ‘Hong Kong Rain’ and ‘Wasp’ among others, Trash thrashed his way around the stage at one point stumbling to his knees in prayer. Eventually members of the band started to decorate the canvas for the easel with paints and brushes, and the chap on the right started also to get decorated in the same vein. Members of the crowd put their own stamp on the picture, while one of the Paintings team continued set to work on the guy on the right before Trash drew the proceedings to a raucous close with ‘Revolution’.

The Red Paintings were back on British soil. They had brought their lavish wonderful music and art to the smaller stage, and they were good for the money. They came, they played, they conquered.















Related Links:

http://theredpaintings.com/
https://theredpaintings.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/theredpaintings
https://www.facebook.com/TheRedPaintings


Commenting On: Bodega, Nottingham, 6/2/2014 - Red Paintings








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