It was all over to the back streets of Whitechapel, deepest East London, last night, Deadcuts were playing in a gallery, the Ritter-Zamet gallery, they’d invited artists to hang art for one night, performers to come along and perform, and special guests Starsha Lee to come join them in the corner of intimate white-walled space. Starsha Lee were making their live debut, you’d never have knows this was the first time out, Crispin Gray’s latest band, he of Daisy Chainsaw, Queen Adreena, Dizzy Q Viper and other fine bands. Starsha Lee were seriously wired in from the start, the perfect environment to kick off the chapter, drenched in red light, thrusting through the smoke, all Explorer shape-throwing and no letting up for a second, manic vocals, raw edges, an overdose of attitude, spiky, fluid, Siamese-cat-like, on your toes, in your face, infectious, proper riffs, people crushed in, straining for a view. something good cooking up here.
Before Starsha Lee, there’s performance art happening back in the darkness and strobe lights of first of the two rooms of the gallery, the room with the art and the people, no idea who’s performing, lost in the red light and the collage of cut up sound… On the walls the satanic psychedelia of Jason Atomic, a piece from Adam Espira that’s destined for the next Deadcuts record sleeve, Sophie MacDonald’s raw paintings, oh and a leafheart or two over there on that wall alongside the Siren Kult creations (dresses made out of Deadcuts t-shirts and such, fabric interpretations of the Deadcuts sound).
Freezing outside, winter is starting to bite, warm in here though, body heat, feels more like a private party than an official event, tickets did sell out in advance but it does feel like a “secret” word of mouth backstreet thing. And I’d forgotten how unpleasant venues full of obnoxious cigarette smoke were, throats are raw today, clothes were stinking last night, vile! Smoke apart, this is rather good, this is proper good, a real event and a gallery alive with energy and attitude, with music and art. The art went up during the sound check (it all came down again at the end of the evening), invited artists turning up and hanging together, real.
Deadcuts are the ones who’ve pulled tonight together, their show and their vision, another gallery show in their own back yard, doing things a slightly different way without making a look-at-us big noise about it, just there, just really there, quietly making themselves vital. . Mark Keds and his band are really coming together now, they’ll confidently tell you so themselves, mark will tell you this is the best he’s done, and why not, if you know you’re good then say it, he right, he has fine history, but these are his finest times. Lot of new material tonight, quite a few songs being played for the first time, Deadcuts really are sounding wired – wiry, edgy, on the edge, like they’ve got that killing joke to deliver, everything stripped away, drenched in even more red smoke that Starsha Lee, no time to stop, straight at you. Starsha Lee threw down the gauntlet, Deadcuts are well and truly running with it, really packed in here now, people craning to see, people listening from the corridor, this feels like something special, the kind of backstreet gig that people will claim they were at when really they were sat at home reading about it on social media. There’s a lean urgency to this new Deadcuts material, Keds and his partner in crime Jerome Alexandre clearly feel they have this band right now, this new line up and these new songs for the forthcoming second album – really wired, right there. Really does feels like something special tonight, feel like real rock ‘n roll – claustrophobic, slightly discordant, a little bit disturbing, pointy, wired, to the point, making a point, psychedelic furs, killing jokes more than a little bit disturbing actually, dark and disturbing, wired, moody – something rather good happened in here in this East End backstreet art gallery tonight, these back street things keep on happening in galleries, car parks, railway arches, condemned warehouses, people coming together and making things happen rather than waiting for them to happen. Deadcuts made it really happen last night. (SW)
A whole load of blurred red images, click on one to enlarge or rum the slide show.
Stop press, this just in – “It was a fantastic night. Performance Art was courtesy of the Dalston Ballet Company”.