Live review: Threads of Sound present Pumajaw, Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete, Organs Of Love at Stereo, 21/10/11

Any Pumajaw fan would rightly have expected this night to be jammed full of strange sounds and all round obscurity.

I arrived just on time at the start of Organs Of Love’s set who appear outdated with their fashion attempts at shock value that perhaps would have worked in the early days of Gary Numan. The music however is raw. Despite their sunglasses, untied glittery dress and a blazer sporting their single name, ‘Face Fuck’, they had buzzing bass pouring through Stereo and powerful vocals screaming on top that could easily have been mistaken for Karen O.

The music is experimental, electric and at times, stunningly heavy on the guitar which succeeds in filling the room with their sexual and powerful sounds. Reminiscent of The Kills, their dark undertones are a great warm up to the night.

Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete are second on and are stylishly haunting with McVey appearing and sounding very much like a Scottish Florence Welsh. The guys are dressed in grey suits behind McVey who wears a beautiful, long Victorian coat with an artistic headpiece containing a vinyl record.

Their image was a statement of their music and performance to come; elegant and curious. Singing about witches and devil women, McVey’s voice is vibrant and compelling, emphasising the darkness of the music even during an unexpected cover of Lionel Ritchie’s ‘Hello’. It, like most of their tracks, holds a rich, smoky blues atmosphere and through the jazzy tones of their set, there is a gothic, magical feel throughout, quite different from the psychedelic experiments of Organs Of Love and Pumajaw.

The night is fuelled on amazing vocals and Pumajaw prove this right at the beginning of their set. Their music is powered by the electronic sounds of John Wills and the stunning vocal talent of Pinkie Maclure. Pumajaw’s live performance effortlessly enhances the atmospheric energies that they manage to capture and create so well.

They play tracks from their latest release, Demon Meow Meow, which seems more upbeat in comparison to their previous releases with underground bass lines under the eerie vocal notes that echo throughout the venue.

They also have quite a stage presence. Wearing some interesting tartan trousers and a fur top, Maclure embraces all areas of the stage, bopping about and becoming tranced by the music, yet still maintaining her epic vocal ability.

Wills’ techniques are not only interesting to hear but also to watch. The pumped up effects are dark and exciting as is his guitar playing, it contains hitting various parts of the instrument and moving it in unusual ways while Maclure plays a squeezebox.

This performance marks the evening; it is like going into space while experiencing some kind of crazy acid trip. Fab.

Words/photos: Sarah Devine

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