Thursday 20:00, DIY Space For London, London 19/1/17
Shopping are a three-piece post- punk band based in Glasgee. [Following Some careful accent monitoring I have decided that none of them are actually Scottish. I don’t think this changes anything though, so that’s fine, just another southern band in the the city- state scene]
Having travelled all the way from the west country for this gig AND braved walking for ten minutes on my lonesome through a labyrinthine south London council estate to get to the venue, I was frankly expecting nothing less than perfection from ‘DIY space for London’ and the entire evening ahead. This ‘space’, I soon found, was a hipster haven in the heart of the #endz. Everyone kind of looked the same but not really- all the men had ginger handlebar moustaches and the women were all freakishly clean looking, all no makeup and alpaca cardigans. Also the toilets were unisex… it was that kind of jam.
Things didn’t go entirely to plan as I ended up missing the first band Shecket, who I was really excited about seeing after listening to their EP online. Another time, perhaps. Next up were Pinkgrip, also a new band to the #SCENE (coincidentally #scenekid was also their #aesthetic). Pinkgrip were as fucking gnarly and snarly as it gets, with the singer using her darth vader inside voice to shout loads of angry things like ‘I’M A LITTLE BUG’ at a million miles an hour. Whether this was intended to be deeply ironic or not, it was incredibly entertaining. Pair this with a saxophone, drums, bass and guitar and you’ve got a pretty solid punk band. Slightly disappointing finale however, in that the band covered ‘God Save The Queen’ (Sex Pistols version, obviously) and forgot half the lyrics [/riffs../chords../even the saxophonist refused to join in on this one]. Just as I was beginning to wonder whose idea it was to end the set in this way, the guitarist burst in to rockstar solo mode and started playing his instrument behind his head with his eyes closed. Busted.
After another band who we will not mention for their own sakes, it was time for the main event: SHOPPING.
I had my vegan lemonade in hand and I was ready to dance the night away. This was it. Four bars in and I had already decided that Rachel Aggs was the best guitarist I had ever seen. I didn’t care that she would only play sequences of the same five notes for the next hour, that was irrelevant, everything was irrelevant, my journey was worth it, the band sounded even better live and this, I realised, was all I could have asked for. Shopping were in another dimension to the unnamed band before them, another universe a gazillion lightyears away. The members’ interactions with one another on stage were fluid. Billy played the bass like it was an extension of her body and Andrew made singing/ talking/+ drumming look like a piece of piss and not at all as painful as had been suggested by the previous band. ‘Straight Lines’ was a standout tune for sure and had me marvelling at Rachel’s guitar playing for the nth time. How does she get away with not playing chords? How do they sound so good? Why are they so likeable? Why do they live in Scotland? Where did I even hear that they live in Scotland?
Though they played what felt like the whole of ‘Why Choose’ apart from faves ‘Wind Up’ and ‘12345′, Shopping also managed to fit in some new bangers from their forthcoming album. This left the hipsters hip hopping all over the shop. A great atmosphere and a superb gig.
Who knew all it took was a simple riff, leaping bass and some spikey vocals? And no, we will never be sick of ‘Wind Up’, thank you.
Also s/o to Megabus for £8 return.