The Shacklewell Arms – Saturday 12th June
Gosh I love an all-dayer, don’t you? What can be better than hiding in a pub all day, safe from the elements, free from the noise complaints (until late, at least), little-to-no queues for the toilets or bar, no clashes, and a general sense that people aren’t here for an Instagram selfie, that they actually want to see some bands?
So all we needed to round of this off was some good music and, luckily, Idaho #2 had plenty of it. I’ll start by clarifying that I missed the first 3 artists because I’m a fool. But whatever I missed would’ve struggled to out stage Liverpudlian outfit The Organ Freeman, a band so batshit crazy that the audience were stunned into a state of paralysis. In matching white Shellac vests and red shorts, two singers took to the floor, chastising the audience with freaky dance moves (that’s putting it politely) and reeling off jokes with some truly awful puns attached (but funny nonetheless). They were complete by two drummers who stoically battled on behind them and a backing track for the rhythm section (who needs instruments anyway?) for a diverse array of covers such as ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘Crazy Horses’ amongst some equally entertaining originals. Lyric changes were key here, in particular Kiss’ ‘God Gave Rock N Roll To You’ which was switched to “God gave rock n roll to you/He gave Dave Grohl to you/Why won’t you take him away from us?” I couldn’t agree more (kinda seems prophetic now given his broken leg). Humour is a bit of a lost art in music these days, which is a shame when you consider how enjoyable shows like this can be. Fans of the now-defunct Gay Against You will certainly appreciate this.
It would have been difficult for any band to follow that but Warm Brains did a particularly bad job of it. Not entirely their own fault as their drummer had gone AWOL and they were clearly experiencing some ‘technical difficulties’, however anyone who stayed in the room longer than 10 minutes was a braver solider than I. Next up was a solo show from King of Cats. Coming across a like a young Daniel Johnson, Max Levy (aka KoC) has a very marmite voice. Conceited art project or genuine expression of self? It was hard to tell. Soundcloud tells me it’s (hopefully) the latter. Then for something a little more primitive, three-piece Slowcoaches teared through a tenacious, aggressive set. I haven’t seen a band who epitomize the ‘no fucks given’ attitude quite so well in some time. Ending on a high note was Dignan Porch. Given their name is a nod to an early Wes Anderson film, the 90s indie rock aesthetic here seemed fitting. Not a million miles away from Yuck, Dignan Porch kept a steadiness to the pace and the trundling build ups that was wonderfully hypnotic; the set flies by in a charming and wistful haze of wooly fuzz and murky vocals.
Overall Idaho #2 was greater than the sum of its parts. Even if a couple of bands missed the mark, part of the fun was just being amongst people that want to drink the hours away whilst watching bands, and a timely reminded that you don’t need to spend £40 for the pleasure of it. Bring on Idaho #3.