Tuesday, April 03, 2007

iLiKETRAiNS / Troubles @ Dingwalls, 29 March 2007

Some things I learned on Thursday night

1. Camden is still rubbish. It’s a long time since I’ve been to Dingwalls, and Camden town. These days my Camden gig-going is either at the Barfly (Chalk Farm tube) or Koko (Mornington Crescent tube). I’ve not done the walk from Camden Town tube up Camden High Street for years. The street still has the same old rubbish shops and the shady guys offering “skunk, marijuana” seem more sinister at night, skulking in doorways which suggest they might be offering bodily harm as well. I hope I don’t have to come back too soon.

2. Standing right in front of the speakers at Dingwalls isn’t good for your ears. During Troubles’ support slot, I thought one of mine was going to go deaf. When the violin screeched, I jumped.

3. iLiKETRAiNS draw an interesting crowd. For a new band, the audience doesn’t make me feel very old, like many new bands' audiences do. Sure, some of The Kids are there, but this is no Jack Penate or Cajun Dance Party show. There are plenty Slightly Older Male Indie Fans, who look like they might have to dash off quickly at the end to get their last trains home to the ‘burbs. Maybe it’s the attraction of iLiKETRAiNS’ doomy Joy Division-style aesthetics, and early 90s shoegazing that remind the SOMIFs of their student days. Hey maybe that’s me too! Except I don’t live in the ‘burbs.

4. Support band Troubles is basically a re-convening of Hope of the States under a different name. Troubles was initially a side project which took on greater importance after the untimely demise of HOTs last year, and now includes most of its former members. On paper it’s a good proposition. An instrumental version of HOTS perhaps? Given that Sam Herlihy was never a great vocalist, and that the wordless Black Amnesias is my favourite of their previous songs, I think yay! But they’ve abandoned the big, expansive rock sound for something more introspective and abstract. The songs (if you can call them that) seem to drift around without really going anywhere. There seems to be something missing. And I don’t mean just drums (which they don't have either). Mind you, when the bass player starts beating a big drum during the last track, it’s the first time that Troubles seem to come together and approach being pretty good. However, maybe I should reserve judgement for a bit and see what becomes of them.

5. iLiKETRAiNS have been writing some new songs since I last saw them. They sound good, if a lot like their existing ones. I do like iLiKETRAiNS though, as any reader of this blog will know. Typing their name doesn’t even annoy me like it used to. I’ve probably said enough about them already to need to go into more detail here. It was a good gig, and notably their biggest crowd I’ve seen in London so far. The combination of the kids and the SOMIFs, is probably the start of a healthy fanbase. And even despite releasing nine minute singles about the murder of 19th century British prime ministers, I think they’ll go far.

Download: iLiKETRAiNS – Citizen
Download: iLiKETRAiNS – Before the Curtains Close (Part I)

The latter track has been pinched from Corporate Anthems, who has the other side (Part II) of this very rare 7 inch (the band’s first release). Go get!

I can’t seem to track down any Troubles mp3s, so you’ll have to stream at their myspace if you’re interested.

I have a few more photos at my Flickr.


Matthew said...

I really like their new single, so hopefully the album will be good. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

Christy said...

I really enjoy iLIKETRAINS I just wish they'd name themselves something else. The band name bothers me. Hopefully people bypass the superficial and take a listen.