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Thursday, 18 November 2010

The World/Inferno Friendship Society - Glasgow Stereo 10/8/09

The World/Inferno Friendship Society’s Glasgow gig was most definitely in American football parlance a game four quarters.
Dave Hughes and his band were a monumental disappointment. I thought that a bit of familiarity with his material would have notched up my enjoyment a bit, but after starting on a high with their opening song it was all downhill after that. Dave has a weak voice and his band are shambolic.
Take it from me. I’m being kind here.
Talented individuals they may be, but apart from the guy playing the mandolin they may have well all been playing in different bands. Highlight of the set was when Dave snapped a string as it allowed for a couple of minutes respite for me.
It wasn’t really an auspicious start to the night but The Dirty Demographic rode in next to provide a standard of quality that had so far been sadly lacking. How can you describe them though. Remember a band called Do me bad things? They were a fantastic live band that threw everything into the mix. A bit of a rock, a bit of soul, a bit of disco and anything else that came to hand. I personally think it was a bit too much for most people. A case of aural overload that people couldn’t wrap their heads around.
Well the Dirty Demographic are a bit like that. Quirky keyboard pop, dual vocals, with a bit of jazz, some horns, some rap and although it shouldn’t work, it does. Imagine the kids from fame as disillusioned adults having a mid life crisis and getting back together to play in a garage band. That’s the Dirty Demographic.
If an audience can just accept the fact that this band will not be neatly pigeon holed then they could actually be your next favourite band.
I would definitely go and see them again, and maybe even again and again and again. So should you.
After having my spirits raised by the Dirty Demographic Joey Terrifying came on and my enjoyment of the night plummeted to the depths of despair.
The deal in bland shouty testosterone heavy punk that I have seen a million times before. The bassist was the best bit about them. He had it locked down. Great bass runs through every song and when he took to the mike he showed himself to be a better singer than the front man. It still wasn’t enough to salvage the set though. This sort of thing appeals to a certain demographic of punk fan and I’m quite happy not being one of them. I’d have the band taped off in a corner and encourage security to usher people along saying ‘move on, nothing original to see here.’
Nothing to do with their performance, but after their set it looked like they all fucked off and left the guitarist to manhandle all his equipment off the stage. So much for punk rock unity. Poor guy looked like he was cultivating a hernia.
Nah. I’ll be remembering their name, but only to give them a miss in the future.
Last band on was of course the World/Inferno Friendship Society.
I’ve been waiting a while to see these guys, and my expectations were pretty high, but truth be told it wouldn’t have mattered how high my expectations were as they would still have surpassed them.
The cabaret punk tag gets bandied about often enough, but it’s apt. So who am I to swim against the tide. A performance is just that, a PERFORMANCE. Equally as theatrical as they are punk rock they know how to engage with an audience. What they do goes beyond just playing a gig, hosting a party, or putting on a show. It’s a communal experience where everyone get’s to participate if they so wish.
Someone once said that punk grew out of white kids being unable to dance. What a crock. If they had been at this gig then they would have seen how far off the mark they are. I, and a good chunk of the small crowd danced from start to finish. Not just jumped up and down, but really danced. We gyrated, twisted, shook our thangs and even waltzed throughout the show. At points I would have to stop to catch my breath and try and drag some oxygen in from the overheated air, but regardless of occasionally seeing spots in front of my eyes I would jump back in there to join in again.
Bodies over forty aren’t really equipped for this sort of exertion, but no one appears to have informed TWIFS and they are hell-bent on whipping everyone up into a frenzy regardless of age or gender.
The politics are kept to a bare minimum with anarchism only being mentioned a couple of times and a bit of a ‘Do they owe us a living (of course they fucking do)’ is wheeled out. The band don’t deal in pushing a political agenda. They want to sing, dance, stretch their imagination and dream of a better place for us all and if you want to come along for the ride then you are more than welcome.
I actually wish that they played here at least once a month as it is just the sort of pick me up that I could do with on a regular basis. This was one of the top gigs of the year.


  1. Really sorry we let you down :(

    Perhaps you'll be able to catch us with our new lineup and have a better time.

    Dave (opening track at WIFS Show) (new line-up)

  2. Well I will say that I caught your band as a three, maybe four, piece supporting Tragic City Thieves in the Captains Rest and that was a far, far better performance.
    (There is a review somewhere out there in the interweb.)
    I enjoyed that one very much.
    Every band is entitled to a bad night and unfortunately this night was probably one of them.
    I would come and see you again. No doubt about it.