Last Thursday we drove over to JT Soar in Nottingham to watch my favourite Valencian trio play to a full house in a room the size of an average British living room.
I first came across Betunizer two years ago whilst scouring the record shops of Barcelona for cool and interesting Spanish and Catalan bands. An assistant sorted me out a stack of about twenty CDs to listen to, and Betunizer’s third album, Gran Veta, was about halfway down the pile – this is now one of my top albums of all time.
Opening act Soul Structure blasted a twisting post-hardcore punk-jazz with intense bass and drums interplay, scratchy lizarding guitar and pained vocals – they’ll hopefully be playing at The Situation later in the year, and I’ll be playing something from their recent album on Loose Canon in the next week or two.
Grey Hairs power-drove through an excellent set of guitar-driven garage punk with angsty vocals.
Crammed into the corner of a small sweaty room, drummer Marcos Junquera breaks into the unsettling opening beat of Camilo Jose Shellac, first track from the recent album Enciende Tu Lomo. Bassist Pablo Peiro folds into the rhythm, with a deceptively basic line. Now the distinctive jagged chords of Jose Guerrero erupt – this is the sound of Betunizer, three guys each with their own very defined styles of play, fitting together like the parts of some fantastic machine. Marcos Junquera’s drumming is phenomenal, with circlic rhythms, syncopated breaks and masterful precision. Pablo Peiro’s bass is always punchy, often off-beat and counter-intuitive with twisted runs, slides and burbles. Jose Guerrero’s guitar style is frenetic broken rhythms, with forays into aetherial dream sounds. Betunizer are post-hardcore, post-punk, post-noise, and sound like no other band on Earth.
Find them, love them, see them live.
Saturday afternoon, and I’m settled in for a mega listening session, with beers and snacks within easy reach. There are some bloody excellent sounds thus far – I’m about a quarter of the way through my planned list, and could already almost fill the playlist for Monday’s show. I love doing this, as you probably know, but there may be some difficult decisions to make when it comes to the final edit, tomorrow morning.
This morning my lady love and I visited the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition, where I have two pieces on show. Overall the standard of work is high as usual, with the occasional perplexing inclusion (mine, you may well think…). Worth a scan, if you are in the area – I’ll certainly be popping in again for a second look, next time I’m passing.
Sunday morning now, and I’ve chosen the featured album for tomorrow’s Loose Canon – Strasbourg band Hermetic Delight’s seven track EP ‘Vow’. Still struggling to cull a long list of good stuff down to size for a two hour show. Going to take a break, get out in the fresh air for an hour or so.
Whoosh – ginger, galangal and turmeric tea – that’s some major triple ginger hit! Hopefully this will help lift me out of a miserable miasma of a mood, caused by a recurring infection that nothing has yet managed to eradicate.
Last Thursday’s nine hour overnight show was tighter than I could have hoped for, with excellent support from guests/co-hosts Steve Hammersley and Johnny Blaze. Steve and I talked about our upcoming one day music festival, The Situation’s 5th Big May Birthday, and played tracks by most of the acts who’ll be appearing (Rinse, October Drift, Liines, Dirty Rotten Souls, Unqualified Nurse Band, Shimmer Trap, Sugarking, Lazy Eye, The Taskers), getting a real taste of what’s to come on Sunday 1st May. When Johnny arrived, we played some of his choices, giving us a interesting flavour of his Monday night show, Esoteric – some of it a bit lightweight for me, but there were one or two quirky surprises. I have sworn that I’ll never attempt an all-nighter again, but apparently I say this every time…
With so much of my usual research time going into that leviathan, I had thought that Monday’s show would suffer, and that I’d maybe have to pad it out with a lot more oldies than usual, but it actually turned out to be a damned fine bash, with more nowave than I’ve played in a while, and a cool and relentlessly driving featured album from The Infinite Three. If you’ve not already caught it, click on one of these links:
You can find out more about The Situation’s 5th Big May Birthday here:
That’s it for now – will get back to you soon. xyz