Static Thought – Camden Underworld

By paul

Sunday 31 January 2010
Underworld, Camden
Support: The Human Project + Company L + Girlfixer + Section 13

You would think that being on Hellcat Records and recording sessions for the BBC would be enough to entice more than a few punters to a gig, but strangely the presence of Static Thought hasn?t really made an impact on the people of London tonight. The Underworld isn?t just quiet, it?s dead. There?re perhaps 40 people here. Maybe it?s the presence of bigger tours in the capital this week. Maybe it?s because it?s bitterly cold. Maybe it?s just because it?s a Sunday. Still, the bands are here and so is Punktastic.

SECTION 13 plays hardcore punk with an old school feel to it. Fast, abrasive and noisy (this will be a theme tonight), the Leamington Spa quartet is gritty in its performance, quite frankly, not giving a shit about the fact there?s only a handful of people watching. All in all it?s impressive enough.

GIRLFIXER plays a brand of raw, female-fronted punk rock that will garner too many Distillers comparisons. In truth, it?s a little rougher around the edges, lacking the big hooked choruses but adding more of a grinding approach. This performance is far from the finished product (the onstage banter needs tightening up, and singer Natalie comes across as a little distant) but for a band about to embark on a few more high profile tours (this current jaunt with Static Thought will be followed by an outing with Street Dogs) the foundation is set.

COMPANY L is a lot faster and a lot noisier, or so it seems, than the last time PT caught the band live. There?s also been a line-up change that sees Hannah Fautley on guitar, a move that?s added pace, energy and stage presence. With a chunk of the set being made up of rapid punk rock versions of singer/guitarist Mike Scott?s solo output, it doesn?t feel like Company L is completely settled into its identity, but it?s a very decent set none the less. Fast is most definitely good.

THE HUMAN PROJECT impressed under the banner Nana?s Revenge back in October and does likewise this evening under a new moniker. Playing a variety of punk rock that?s technical and thought out as well as pluming with a beastly rock sound akin to some very big named bands (Biffy, Muse perhaps), this is appealing stuff that doesn?t necessarily tally with the rest of the bill tonight.

Despite the diminutive crowd (to its credit, at least most people have ventured down from the bar veranda) STATIC THOUGHT immediately whip into a frenzy of hardcore punk that?s fast, heavy and no-nonsense. Drummer Drew Cuevo is an absolute blur, viciously pounding his set, whilst bassist Johaan Hill looks like he might just play out of his beard. Add to this fast guitars, and then singer Eric Urbach?s rabid patrols of the dance floor and you have the ingredients for an impressive, if not hugely varied, performance. As it?s London, the Oakland outfit throws in a cover of The Clash?s ?What?s My Name? that isn?t too many steps away from either the original or the bands own sound. That gives you some idea of what?s on offer tonight.

On the whole, tonight?s gig has lacked in atmosphere and excitement, but the bands on display have still made for interesting viewing. You can?t ask for much more on a drab Sunday evening.

Alex Hambleton