Maths Class, Grott Party & The Happy Traumas: Curiosity @ Mr Kyp’s, Poole (12-03-09)

March 24th, 2009

Mr Kyp’s has had an Opera House-style makeover since my last visit – all white walls and understated blue lighting…I can’t say it does a lot for me except maybe concentrate my eyes to the stage…perhaps that’s the point, eh?

Tonight begins with The Happy Traumas who I desperately want to – and almost really – like. They flail excitedly around the stage – especially the frontman – extolling the many virtues of their chosen lifestyle involving “Grolsch, Carling, Stella, San Miguel” and forming a band in order to get laid. “Fair do’s” one might say, at least there’s no pretence going on around these parts…trouble is, I like a bit of pretence, subtlety, whatever you want to call it and so, for me, the shtick wears thin as the set progresses but I will not fault them for enthusiasm and musicianship.

I needed a metaphorical shot in the arm and that was duly and emphatically provided by Grott Party. It seems that “comedy in music” divides people squarely down the middle – rather like Marmite or Russell Brand – so if you’re not a fan then I guess these boys are not for you. I will only mention Toupe once in this context, suffice to say Grott Party are clearly fans of the Southampton-based comedy/bass/drum monster. For me this is no bad thing: intelligent, political (yes, I know all lyrics are political), sex-based songs such as “Vote Or Die” and “At Least Sixteen” would be great ideas even without the sonic onslaught of bass, guitar and immense drumming from The World’s Most Entertaining Drummist ™. In short, Grott Party rock. Believe their hype. Revel in their world and smile, they clearly love doing what they do and that is transmitted to the audience, not as easy as it sounds.

At about 10.30pm Maths Class take to the Kyp’s stage to little fanfare and unfortunately relatively little applause, many of the “crowd” having left after their mates had played, this is the life. Billed as “the best live band in the country right now” by Artrocker magazine, Maths Class have definitely got something going on. Their music can’t be pinned down to a certain style, the frenetic half-shouted lyrics battle with some intricate guitar riffs, rumbling-rolling bass and unpredictable keyboard squelchings all underpinned by some hyperactive drumming. This, I feel, is A Good Thing and kept everything more than interesting considering the songs were unknown to me before this set. Tim the vocalist’s on-stage spasmodic performance made me wonder if Morrissey provided the blueprint for all self-effacing frontmen post-1984 to follow. That’s where the comparison ends however as words are spat out over tunes put through a tumble-dryer and listened to through barbed wire. Yeah, I like. Maybe you like too?

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