Dean Van Nguyen
posted on March 14, 2009 16:26
Spinnerette (live in 02 Islington Academy, London)
A scan over Queens of the Stone Age's Wikipedia page reveals no fewer than nineteen groups considered to be 'associated acts', including Spinnerette, the latest vehicle for former Distellers frontwoman Brody Dalle. The association here is that Dalle is married to Queen's main man Josh Homme and by mentioning this I've committed a cardinal sin in the eyes of her superfans, who will immediately make the point that her career was a success before the two's union. This is true, and I apologise to those fans who turned up to see the new band perform at London's O2 Islington Academy, including the friend who accompanied me (who is a superfan, as well as being my main reason for being at the gig). But my point is that on early evidence, while Spinnerette might be pigeonholed into this clutch of acts, they have the potential to be one of the better ones on Homme's speed dial.
The scene for their first ever gig in the UK was the O2 Islington Academy. It's a slickly run venue located in the heart of North London, with bars on either side of the room ensuring short queuing times for drinks and a high risen stage making for good visibility. Opening for Spinnerette were the uninspiring Chapman Family and Future of the Left, only really noteworthy for the Chapman Family's frontman smashing his guitar (note to The Chapman Family: it loses the mystique if you come back out and check the guitars ok after the sets finished) and Future of the Left burning some hecklers with crude, but hilarious retorts.
Dalle and co strutted on to stage with minimum fuss, opening with a couple of tracks from the group's EP Ghetto Love. The short punk, punch of 'Valium Knights' and the Stooges throwback 'Bury My Heart' brought the crowd to boiling point and they never lost that energy. Away from Ghetto Love, the band also presented a number of new songs which I assume will be on their debut album released this May. 'Driving Song', as the title suggests is a standard enough rocker. Plenty of guitar layers hide its shortcomings, probably making it a decent album track. 'Cupid' was also particularly enjoyable. You know what you're going to get when Dalle promises a song is about "f**king your man" and the front woman didn't disappoint, sliding around stage in her tight outfit and heels to the delight of the male audience. She was in fine form, at first opting to play guitar but for the most part strutting around stage, sometimes relying on her elbows, knees or back to give her movement.
New single 'Sex Bomb' expectedly got the loudest cheer. Dalle's love letter to sixties pop still sparkles despite it's well worn melody thanks to Tony Bevilacqua's cranked up power chords and her crooning make it especially appealing live.
The gig ended in a haze of confusion when Dalle disappeared into the crowd. Bevilacqua looked concerned as she urged those who swarmed around her to "back the f**k up" before being smuggled backstage. I heard from some girls on the subway home that she had leapt in to crowd surf but landed on some skinny teenager girls who couldn't hold her weight. The house lights went on almost instantly bringing an abrupt end to the evening. It was somewhat anti-climax to what was an exhilarating night. But no matter; this was an evening intended to be a statement of arrival by the newly formed Spinnerette, and one that left me satisfactorily rocked.
Dean Van Nguyen