Dracula Legs + dressmaker @ The Shacklewell Arms, London - 03/05/14

by LinnBranson
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on 08 June 2014 in Live
Rating 8/10

For a band who only played their first gig this April, Dracula Legs have already courted - and won - the crowd at The Great Escape, were about to spend two nights opening for The Black Lips following their gig here at The Shacklewell Arms, and released debut single 'Heartburn Destination'.

In that short space of time they have won over critics and garnered fans to their hotch-potch of influences sound. The London-based garage rockers, led by the impressive presence out front of Canadian Artur Dyjecinski, show they're not afraid of fearsome riffs that can - and do - veer all over the place from punk to alt country. If you ere to a little Smiths and a Morrissey vocal, then money's on opener 'Sand To The Beach'. Spending several seconds front edge of stage, piercing blue eyes fixing a Nick Cave stare, Artur begins on a spoken word intro, while guitars twang around him like some Hawaiian hooley, before it all lets rip; 'rip' being the operative word given that Mr. D is a fine mover when it comes to shape throwing - something that is seen throughout most songs in the set - and it is hood to see the band enjoying themselves as much as this audience obviously are.

From the 'Smiths' to the out-and-out rockabilly of 'Goat' to 'Pink 2 Bone', where vocals range upwards from the baritone to a near falsetto peak, before 'Death Of Age' places its feet back on rock territory. Rousing closer 'Heartburn Destination' is the Johnny Cash (by way of Dalston) release with which they made their entrée this year, a song that delivers the big country stomp - and a foray down on the floor for the frontman at one point on this occasion. You can imagine that given the right crowd and atmosphere, Dracula Legs could really kick up a frenzy with a moshing front row. These London hipsters appear a little too cool for all that, or maybe they just need a little more familiarity with a band that is, after all, still relatively fresh off the starting-block. Right now, the Legs are still finding their live feet. When they do, get ready to run.

dressmaker (a band preferring the lower case), who are main support, are another band still finding their live feet, as it were. And as much as Dracula Legs played to the light, this East London bunch sought the darkness - literally. By pitching their musical wares in near invisibility, saturated by flickering lighting effects - and a strobe light effect at the end enough to cause epileptic fitting seizures en masse - and more smoke machine fog to be seen than at a November fifth fireworks party, the post-punk foursome exude an air of shadowy menace. The set is relatively brief, yet fiercely punctuated by the seven-minute noise fuzz of 'Skeleton Girl', their debut of last year, and the equal majesty of 'The Future', a somewhat shorter but no less furious sonic assault on the eardrums. dressmaker is an aggressive beast; charging like a bull, yet still contained within an atmospheric wall of sound. Sensory battering that’s not for the faint-hearted.


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