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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Yuck (plus others) at Notting Hill Arts Club – Live Review

Yuck are a band with a really awful name that will probably hold them back, but their music and their live show is undeniably worth checking out

Written by Ian Steadman

Amanda Wakely queue
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley. You’d be right in wondering what on earth I was doing at this show. Surely not my cup of tea? Well, pills you’d be right. It isn’t. Her clothes aren’t. BUT I like to challenge my preconceived ideas of what is cool and truth be told I like the change of pace and the change of crowd at this kind of fashion show. It gets a bit boring after awhile, all those overdressed drag queens and try-hard fashion students at the cool On/Off shows. Someone dressed as a graduate complete with mortar board and black dustbin bag gown? Pah! Seen it done yesterday darling.

http://www.wardrobecostume.co.uk/admin/uploads/550/99_11325_Mortar_Board_550.jpg

And so it was that towards the end of fashion week I found myself quaffing raspberry infused champagne in the BFC tent waiting area. You don’t get that over at Freemasons’ Hall and Victoria House let me tell you! Around me stood highly groomed women who clearly had money, all of course elegantly attired in black, honey-highlighted barnets swinging smoothly around perfectly botoxed brows. Then there was a few token scruffs (including me) sitting bow-headedly on the seats, looking as uncomfortable as their bright clothing. Then that Daily Mail luminary Liz Jones swept in, fitting in entirely apart from the orange skin and viciously dyed black hair straight out of Jordan’s book of style. She stood alone, typing pointedly into her phone as she was given a wide berth by people who clearly know who she was, only a few brave souls daring to nod hi to her. By some stroke of fate I found myself in the front row just one person down from Liz, and then Hilary Alexander scuttled in at the last minute and planted herself two over. The close presence of two such interesting characters proved to be a major distraction for me, along with the bemused looking gentleman opposite, perched incongrously amidst of a gaggle of women.

Hilary alexander
Hilary Alexander. She works at the Telegraph. I’m sure you know that.

Liz Jones
Liz Jones.

Under our seats there were some tasteful goodies entirely in keeping with the Amanda Wakeley aesthetic: which is to say, tasteful, elegant, highly groomed, you get the idea. Which means that I have a nice new foundation, cover-up and mascara courtesy of Barbara Daly for, erm, Tescos. Classy choice of collaborator there. The second one that is, the one that you were probably hoping nobody noticed in the small print of the accompanying leaflet.

http://www.beautyandthedirt.com/2010/03/15/barbara-daly-make-up-for-amanda-wakeley-aw10/

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Amanda showed lots of nice swing shapes that I liked, in beige, fawn, grey and black (that I didn’t like so much). Throw in a few tasteful monochrome prints, some Grecian-esque arm thongs and a dash of sequins and you’re away. These weren’t bad clothes at all, on the contrary they were extremely lovely and for once I could actually imagine the audience wearing the clothes they had come to see and in fact Amanda herself was the epitome of her own aesthetic when she appeared for a bow at the end, but I must confess that around about half way through I got more fixated on getting a shot of Liz and Hilary’s notebooks.

Hilary's notebook
Liz Jones
Ah, but which is which? It’s a fun little game for you!

What I do hold issue with was the amount of fur sent down the catwalk, a subject which I have resolutely refused to address so far in my posts about the Autumn/Winter 2010 fashion shows. I find it massively distressing that fur has somehow crept back into our consciousness and become okay over the past ten years or so. What happened to the militancy of the late 80s/early 90s? Where is PETA now? Why is this suddenly okay? Now more than ever in our centrally-heated lives, fur represents the ultimate luxury for over-rich people with no conscience: there’s simply no excuse for submitting animals to such cruelty when there are many viable alternatives. The very same people cherish their cuddlesome pets but turn a blind eye if an equally cute fluffy animal is “farmed.” Plus, these women don’t actually spend time outdoors, they travel around town between lunch dates in the cosy warmth of a chauffeur driven vehicle. Yes, I agree that it’s been very cold lately, but frankly it ain’t the Arctic, and unless you’re an Eskimo and you shot that fuckin’ polar bear yourself to keep your family warm I’ll have no truck with fur being worn as clothing. It’s just a fashion, and it’s an unremittingly shit trend.

Unfortunately, and much to my annoyance, Amanda was far from the only designer to show large amounts of fur. It makes me very sad when other designers, who I otherwise rate very highly, shove bits of fur into their collections. My response to this? I will not talk about that fur, unless it’s in the negative. There, I’ve tied my flag to the mast.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley. You’d be right in wondering what on earth I was doing at this show. Surely not my cup of tea? Well, here you’d be right. It isn’t. Her clothes aren’t. BUT I like to challenge my preconceived ideas of what is cool and truth be told I like the change of pace and the change of crowd at this kind of fashion show. It gets a bit boring after awhile, all those overdressed drag queens and try-hard fashion students at the cool On/Off shows. Someone dressed as a graduate complete with mortar board and black dustbin bag gown? Pah! Seen it done yesterday darling.

And so it was that towards the end of fashion week I found myself quaffing raspberry infused champagne in the BFC tent waiting area. You don’t get that over at Freemasons’ Hall and Victoria House let me tell you! Around me stood highly groomed women who clearly had money, all of course elegantly attired in black, honey-highlighted barnets swinging smoothly around perfectly botoxed brows. Then there was a few token scruffs (including me) sitting bow-headedly on the seats, looking as uncomfortable as their bright clothing.

Amanda Wakely queue
Amanda Wakely queue
Scroffulous types such as myself perch uncomfortably amidst a sea of coiffuredness.

Then that Daily Mail luminary Liz Jones swept in, fitting in entirely apart from the orange skin and viciously dyed black hair straight out of Jordan’s book of style. She stood alone, typing pointedly into her phone as she was given a wide berth by people who clearly know who she was, only a few brave souls daring to nod hi to her. By some stroke of fate I found myself in the front row just one person down from Liz, and then Hilary Alexander scuttled in at the last minute and planted herself two over. The close presence of two such interesting characters proved to be a major distraction for me, along with the bemused looking gentleman opposite, perched incongrously amidst of a gaggle of women.

Hilary alexander
Hilary Alexander. She works at the Telegraph. I’m sure you know that.

Liz Jones
Liz Jones.

Amanda Wakely front row
Amanda Wakely front row
The Amanda Wakely front row.

Under our seats there were some tasteful goodies entirely in keeping with the Amanda Wakeley aesthetic: which is to say, tasteful, elegant, highly groomed, you get the idea. Which means that I have a nice new foundation, cover-up and mascara courtesy of Barbara Daly for, erm, Tescos. Classy choice of collaborator there. The second one that is, the one that you were probably hoping nobody noticed in the small print of the accompanying leaflet.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Amanda showed lots of nice swing shapes that I liked, in beige, fawn, grey and black (that I didn’t like so much). Throw in a few tasteful monochrome prints, some Grecian-esque arm thongs and a dash of sequins and you’re away. These weren’t bad clothes at all, on the contrary they were extremely lovely and for once I could actually imagine the audience wearing the clothes they had come to see and in fact Amanda herself was the epitome of her own aesthetic when she appeared for a bow at the end, but I must confess that around about half way through I got more fixated on getting a shot of Liz and Hilary’s notebooks.

Hilary's notebook
Liz Jones
Ah, but which is which? It’s a fun little game for you!

What I do hold issue with was the amount of fur sent down the catwalk, a subject which I have resolutely refused to address so far in my posts about the Autumn/Winter 2010 fashion shows. I find it massively distressing that fur has somehow crept back into our consciousness and become okay over the past ten years or so. What happened to the militancy of the late 80s/early 90s? Where is PETA now? Why is this suddenly okay? Now more than ever in our centrally-heated lives, fur represents the ultimate luxury for over-rich people with no conscience: there’s simply no excuse for submitting animals to such cruelty when there are many viable alternatives. The very same people cherish their cuddlesome pets but turn a blind eye if an equally cute fluffy animal is “farmed.” Plus, these women don’t actually spend time outdoors, they travel around town between lunch dates in the cosy warmth of a chauffeur driven vehicle. Yes, I agree that it’s been very cold lately, but frankly it ain’t the Arctic, and unless you’re an Eskimo and you shot that fuckin’ polar bear yourself to keep your family warm I’ll have no truck with fur being worn as clothing. It’s just a fashion, and it’s an unremittingly shit trend.

Unfortunately, and much to my annoyance, Amanda was far from the only designer to show large amounts of fur. It makes me very sad when other designers, who I otherwise rate very highly, shove bits of fur into their collections. My response to this? I will not talk about that fur, unless it’s in the negative. There, I’ve tied my flag to the mast.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley. You’d be right in wondering what on earth I was doing at this show. Surely not my cup of tea? Well, look you’d be right. It isn’t. Her clothes aren’t. BUT I like to challenge my preconceived ideas of what is cool and truth be told I like the change of pace and the change of crowd at this kind of fashion show. It gets a bit boring after awhile, illness all those overdressed drag queens and try-hard fashion students at the cool On/Off shows. Someone dressed as a graduate complete with mortar board and black dustbin bag gown? Pah! Seen it done yesterday darling.

And so it was that towards the end of fashion week I found myself quaffing raspberry infused champagne in the BFC tent waiting area. You don’t get that over at Freemasons’ Hall and Victoria House let me tell you! Around me stood highly groomed women who clearly had money, all of course elegantly attired in black, honey-highlighted barnets swinging smoothly around perfectly botoxed brows. Then there was a few token scruffs (including me) sitting bow-headedly on the seats, looking uncomfortable as rich people swanned above them.

Amanda Wakely queue
Amanda Wakely queue
Scroffulous types such as myself perch uncomfortably amidst a sea of coiffuredness.

Then that luminary of many a Daily Mail column, Liz Jones, swept in, fitting in entirely apart from the orange skin and viciously dyed black hair straight out of Jordan‘s book of style. She stood alone, typing pointedly into her phone as she was given a wide berth by people who clearly know who she was, only a few brave souls daring to nod hi to her. By some stroke of fate I found myself in the front row just one person down from Liz, and then Hilary Alexander scuttled in at the last minute and planted herself two over. The close presence of two such interesting characters proved to be a major distraction for me, along with the bemused looking gentleman opposite, perched incongrously amidst of a gaggle of women.

Hilary alexander
Hilary Alexander. She works at the Telegraph. I’m sure you know that.

Liz Jones
Liz Jones.

Amanda Wakely front row
Amanda Wakely front row
The Amanda Wakely front row.

Under our seats there were some tasteful goodies entirely in keeping with the Amanda Wakeley aesthetic: which is to say, tasteful, elegant, highly groomed, you get the idea. Which means that I have a nice new foundation, cover-up and mascara courtesy of Barbara Daly for, erm, Tescos. Classy choice of collaborator there. The second one that is, the one that you were probably hoping nobody noticed in the small print of the accompanying leaflet.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Amanda showed lots of nice swing shapes that I liked, in beige, fawn, grey and black (that I didn’t like so much). Throw in a few tasteful monochrome prints, some Grecian-esque arm thongs and a dash of sequins and you’re away. These weren’t bad clothes at all, on the contrary they were extremely lovely and for once I could actually imagine the audience wearing the clothes they had come to see and in fact Amanda herself was the epitome of her own aesthetic when she appeared for a bow at the end, but I must confess that around about half way through I got more fixated on getting a shot of Liz and Hilary’s notebooks.

Hilary's notebook
Liz Jones
Ah, but which is which? It’s a fun little game for you!

What I do hold issue with was the amount of fur sent down the catwalk, a subject which I have resolutely refused to address so far in my posts about the Autumn/Winter 2010 fashion shows. I find it massively distressing that fur has somehow crept back into our consciousness and become okay over the past ten years or so. What happened to the militancy of the late 80s/early 90s? Where is PETA now? Why is this suddenly okay? Now more than ever in our centrally-heated lives, fur represents the ultimate luxury for over-rich people with no conscience: there’s simply no excuse for submitting animals to such cruelty when there are many viable alternatives. The very same people cherish their cuddlesome pets but turn a blind eye if an equally cute fluffy animal is “farmed.” Plus, these women don’t actually spend time outdoors, they travel around town between lunch dates in the cosy warmth of a chauffeur driven vehicle. Yes, I agree that it’s been very cold lately, but frankly it ain’t the Arctic, and unless you’re an Eskimo and you shot that fuckin’ polar bear yourself to keep your family warm I’ll have no truck with fur being worn as clothing. It’s just a fashion, and it’s an unremittingly shit trend at that.

Unfortunately, and much to my annoyance, Amanda was far from the only designer to show large amounts of fur. It makes me very sad when other designers, who I otherwise rate very highly, shove bits of fur into their collections. My response to this? I will not talk about that fur, unless it’s in the negative. There, I’ve tied my flag to the mast.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley. You’d be right in wondering what on earth I was doing at this show. Surely not my cup of tea? Well, nurse you’d be right. It isn’t. Her clothes aren’t. BUT I like to challenge my preconceived ideas of what is cool and truth be told I like the change of pace and the change of crowd at this kind of fashion show. It gets a bit boring after awhile, this all those overdressed drag queens and try-hard fashion students at the cool On/Off shows. Someone dressed as a graduate complete with mortar board and black dustbin bag gown? Pah! Seen it done yesterday darling.

And so it was that towards the end of fashion week I found myself quaffing raspberry infused champagne in the BFC tent waiting area. You don’t get that over at Freemasons’ Hall and Victoria House let me tell you! Around me stood highly groomed women who clearly had money, all of course elegantly attired in black, honey-highlighted barnets swinging smoothly around perfectly botoxed brows. Then there was a few token scruffs (including me) sitting bow-headedly on the seats, looking uncomfortable as rich people swanned above them.

Amanda Wakely queue
Amanda Wakely queue
Scroffulous types such as myself perch uncomfortably amidst a sea of coiffuredness.

Then that luminary of many a Daily Mail column, Liz Jones, swept in, fitting in entirely apart from the orange skin and viciously dyed black hair straight out of Jordan‘s book of style. She stood alone, typing pointedly into her phone as she was given a wide berth by people who clearly know who she was, only a few brave souls daring to nod hi to her. By some stroke of fate I found myself in the front row just one person down from Liz, and then Hilary Alexander scuttled in at the last minute and planted herself two over. The close presence of two such interesting characters proved to be a major distraction for me, along with the bemused looking gentleman opposite, perched incongrously amidst of a gaggle of women.

Hilary alexander
Hilary Alexander. She works at the Telegraph. I’m sure you know that.

Liz Jones
Liz Jones.

Amanda Wakely front row
Amanda Wakely front row
The Amanda Wakely front row.

Under our seats there were some tasteful goodies entirely in keeping with the Amanda Wakeley aesthetic: which is to say, tasteful, elegant, highly groomed, you get the idea. Which means that I have a nice new foundation, cover-up and mascara courtesy of Barbara Daly for, erm, Tescos. Classy choice of collaborator there. The second one that is, the one that Amanda was probably hoping nobody noticed in the small print of the accompanying leaflet.

Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.
Amanda Wakeley by Pearl Law.

Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley by Amelia Gregory
Amanda Wakeley. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Amanda showed lots of nice swing shapes that I liked, in beige, fawn, grey and black (that I didn’t like so much). Throw in a few tasteful monochrome prints, some Grecian-esque arm thongs and a dash of sequins and you’re away. These weren’t bad clothes at all, on the contrary they were extremely lovely and for once I could actually imagine the audience wearing the clothes they had come to see and in fact Amanda herself was the epitome of her own aesthetic when she appeared for a bow at the end… but I must confess that around about half way through I got more fixated on getting a shot of Liz and Hilary’s notebooks.

Hilary's notebook
Liz Jones
Ah, but which is which? It’s a fun little game for you!

What I do hold issue with was the amount of fur sent down the catwalk, a subject which I have resolutely refused to address so far in my posts about the Autumn/Winter 2010 fashion shows. I find it massively distressing that fur has somehow crept back into our consciousness and become okay over the past ten years or so. What happened to the militancy of the late 80s/early 90s? Where is PETA now? Why is this suddenly okay? Now more than ever in our centrally-heated lives, fur represents the ultimate luxury for over-rich people with no conscience: there’s simply no excuse for submitting animals to such cruelty when there are many viable alternatives. The very same people cherish their cuddlesome pets but turn a blind eye if an equally cute fluffy animal is “farmed.” Plus, these women don’t actually spend time outdoors, they travel around town between lunch dates in the cosy warmth of a chauffeur driven vehicle. Yes, I agree that it’s been very cold lately, but frankly it ain’t the Arctic, and unless you’re an Eskimo and you shot that fuckin’ polar bear yourself to keep your family warm I’ll have no truck with fur being worn as clothing. It’s just a fashion, and it’s an unremittingly shit trend at that.

Unfortunately, and much to my annoyance, Amanda was far from the only designer to show large amounts of fur. It makes me very sad when other designers, who I otherwise rate very highly, shove bits of fur into their collections. My response to this? I will not talk about that fur, unless it’s in the negative. There, I’ve tied my flag to the mast.

Photo by Paul Bridgewater

Why is that gigs are so rarely in the afternoon? RoTa, sildenafil the free and frequent event put on at Notting Hill Arts Centre by Rough Trade and hosted by various different blogs/websites/promoters/whatever (for this one it’s Line Of Best Fit), treatment starts at the genteel time of 4pm and ends at the equally civilised 8pm mark. It’s wonderful. You can go out, get pissed, watch a few bands, jump around like a loon, and then at the end there’s still time to catch a movie or dinner reservation or greyhound race, whatever your fancy. I am a firm convert to this type of thing.

Anyway – I was there, ostensibly, to see Yuck, a pretty awesome band that I’d heard online having been forwarded by a comrade here at Amelia’s. They were third on the bill, and their name belies their sound. They are a pretty awesome laid-back feedback pop sort of band, as can be heard in their debut single, “Georgia” – there’s a lot of similarity there with a band like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, although I’ve got to say that I hear a strong echo within “Georgia” of 80s classic “Big Soft Punch” by kiwi post-punk legends The Clean – no? Just me?

Regardless, they’re pretty good on record, so I decided to check them out in the flesh. The other bands on tonight were in the same kind of messy pop vein, that increasingly broad and hard to define genre where the jangle and happiness of surf and indie pop meet with The Jesus & Mary Chain to make upbeat music that’s just dirty enough to avoid being played a lot on Radio 1. Fittingly, the crowd was achingly hip (too many Barbour jackets, too, too many), although later I discovered that Summer Camp, the second band on the lineup, have been considered something of a blogosphere darling for the past while, and that this was their first live show – explaining just quite why everyone was so well-dressed. They had been rumoured to be some kind of Swedish seven-piece from some little godforsaken village out in the middle of nowhere, but turns out it’s actually just Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey faffing about with a keyboard, and they were pretty good, but quite generic and hardly remarkable. Perhaps I needed to familiarise myself with their stuff beforehand, or perhaps all those bloggers just think they’re lovely, or perhaps I’m just being a bit sniffy. Perhaps perhaps perhaps. I really like Warmsley’s solo stuff so I’m going to wait a while before passing real judgement.

But first on the bill were The Last Dinosaur, who I found to be a powerfully disappointing approximation of something great. They had the elements there, but their songs lacked punch, vivazz, kazoom, that indefatigable section that will always bring the crowd to its feet, etc. etc. Summer Camp, I have already discussed above. Yuck were next, and I was slightly perturbed – meeting Danny from the band earlier, I’d been distracted by his erection. “It’s only a Pepsi bottle,” somebody laughed, but it was unexpected, to shake hands with a man in such a state. He’s got a weird sense of humour, that lad. I think he does the illustrations, too, the ones that pepper this review and the ‘Yuck Book’ that I purchased for a whole £1. Compare these images, and the thought of a young skinny Dylanite in tracksuit trousers with a Pepsi penis to, say, their song “Automatic”. Bizarre contrast.

Their slot stuck to the winning formula of messy guitar work and simple pop melody, but it’s undeniable that these guys have something on top of the other bands that do this same trick – it’s not just the weird looks (their drummer has some beautiful hair, he really does) and the artwork with the genital focus and the cheekiness, but more the charisma. They feel like a proper band already, with a proper future ahead of them. It’s strange to find that in a group so early in their development. I remember talking to a friend once about whether this kind of charisma was imbued at birth or gained, and she was adamant that it was the kind of thing that came from the gods. “You’re blessed with it, or you’re not,” she’d say, “I’ve seen Julian Casablancas from the Strokes walking down the street in a full suit (with waistcoat) in 40 degree heat, not sweating, eating a curry – they’re not human, these guys.” I have to concur. And with Yuck… well. I’m not saying they’re the next Strokes. But they’re pretty damn good.

I didn’t get to see Stairs To Korea, because I went to have some food, but I hear they were pleasant.

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One Response to “Yuck (plus others) at Notting Hill Arts Club – Live Review”

  1. real gone kid says:

    Read my detailed review of ‘YUCK’ here: http://realgonerocks.blogspot.com/2011/02/yuck-yuck.html

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