Kid Carpet / The Holloways / Betchadupa

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Camden Barfly
  • 2005-11-28

Kind of a strange, beautiful night really. It started with James Bourne from arena-touring, punk-pap fools Busted unable to blag into this grimiest of venues for free and having to pay like a mere mortal and ended with a fully grown man being applauded for swearing and playing with Fisher Price toys.

NZ’s Betchadupa played first to a good crowd of people and their spiky indie seems destined for bigger things. They have released 2 LPs and 2 EPs on the other side of the world and this showed in their tight performance and generally good songs. The angular, stop-start-rock of “Who’s coming through the window?” in particular was great. They come across as a sort of britpop/garage rock hybrid. If the Bluetones (as Dr David Banner) had been involved in a nuclear experiment gone wrong then Betchadupa would be the Incredible Hulk. And I say that as a good thing.

The Holloways have only been together for a year, having formed in a a ‘trendy’ pub on London’s Holloway Road (hence the name) and their endearingly shambolic urchin punk started slowly but showed promise. Heavily indebted to The Libertines, Dexy’s and, er, Chas and Dave (both musically and sartorially). They have a couple of great songs, especially debut “Generator” and “How Will I Get Home?”, that showcase a taut, scratchy, ska-punk sound with choruses good enough to worry charts, or at least indie-discos. The latter documents the sort of drunken adventures we’ve all fallen into. They could do with a few more to match up with these two though.

in front of sampler/box of tricks he was by turns deranged, hilarious and damn funky

“K to the Motherfucking C!” Kid Carpet’s set began with the soundcheck which segued into the aforementioned offensive hip-hop parlance. Appearing alone, in front of sampler/box of tricks he was by turns deranged, hilarious and damn funky. And frequently all three at once. The best description of his act is his own “I make kiddy disco punk and shit-hop music out of plastic instruments and toys and a sampler”. Regarding these tools of his peculiar trade, unfortunately his furby and ‘white’ guitar got pinched by a (soon to be bemused/disappointed) tramp, but he got through this hardship with a bit of audience participation on “Your Love”.

Bastardised eighties classics (an inspired cut-up cover of Van Halen’s “Jump!”, and Chesney Hawkes: “I am a one trick pony”), electro hip-hop (“Shiny, Shiny, New”) and Simon Says all flashed by, along with 20 or so other songs and it never once got boring. Energetic, inclusive and tongue-in-cheek (affectionate rather than cynical); it may not have been deep or meaningful but it was great entertainment. If Kid Carpet was a pair of socks he’d be the florescent green towelling ones I used to wear as a kid. Go see.

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