(Manchester Bands Section)


Gerling (& Seafood)
Star & Garter 1/6/00
(Plus interview with Gerling)

I don’t know how long the venue has had a stage installed since my last time @ the Saturday night `Smile’ session’s, but at least it gave the crows something to talk about as we waited, and waited and waited.  The doors opened at 8pm and bands were due on about 9.   Even when I rang up at 7:30 there was no sign of the impending delay.Darren
So the bands already have a pissed off crowd in front of them, as if starting from the rear the rear of the grids in motor racing- a daunting challenge ahead if any chance of winning over the crowd is to be had.
BurkeAt 10:30 Gerling take to the stage.  Well not so much as take as commandeer it.  They need to touch the ground running, so to speak, so they launch into their number, a fast, frantic, full on fury of a ditty.  But that’s not all.  As if they have just come from a po-go fest that was at its height, they bounce, bop and bound around, between synths, guitars and each other.
The 50+ (numbers, not age) crowd don’t know how to react; they stand back.  There’s a space between crowd and band, but they like it,  can they keep it up?  Second number.  All change.  From the all guitars & drums start to all synth’s.Burke (again)
 When is a drummer not a drummer?  When he comes from behind the sticks to become the 3rd keyboard player.  What going on?  They manage to procure just as attractive a sound with this bank of computers as guitars.   They still bounce.  They moonwalk.  They produce robotics motions that compliment the music and add to the visually, stopping it from becoming background muzak to talk through.
Third number.  Back to guitar’s and drums.  Another frenetic run through the chords. Goofiness abound on the stage.   The audience are enthralled.  We know what coming next, it will be all synth’s and sure enough it is.  Air?  Kraftwerk on speed?  Who knows, but buy know the crowd are enjoying themselves.
In an inspired moment of audience participation, `Mark Bloggs’ is bribed to dance on the stage in reward for 3 mars bars.  And he takes it.  This frees up synths/vocals man Presser Towner (no, it isn’t a spelling mistake) to go walkabout in the audience.  If they don’t want to dance there, I will he appears to signify.  If there is a wall to climb he will climb it, and he does.   Latest single `Death to the Apple Gerls’  is a fast & delicious slice of guitar pop
They manage to switch between styles successfully, eventually both coming together for the final few numbers.
Sheer exuberance to good music has won the crowd over.  Seafood are on shortly and they will either thank Gerling for winning the crowd over, or hate them for a superb piece of  scene stealing.
The crowd eagerly move towards the stage as Seafood quickly take to the stage hoping to keep building on the momentum generated earlier by Gerling.
Early songs such as `Porchlight’, `plus the new ones, This is not An Exit’, and `Belt’ are rattled off in quick succession, spicy bits to sate the appetite.  Forsaking some of the subtleties found on vinyl(?) they beef up their sound, 3  guitars and a drummer providing another run of sugar coated driving songs topped of by the plaintive vocals of Dave Line.
Songs that burst into infectious melodies abound.   This is their third visit to Manchester and I saw them 3 years ago when they supported Kenickie @ the Hop & Grape and `blew them away’ as they say in the trade.  This time they were in danger of  being blown away, but in the end its a dead heat for a great double bill
 Contact Details:
   PO Box 7337
   London   N1  9NS
   `Surviving the Quiet’ is out now
   PO Box 4226
   London   SW6 2XG
   The single `Death to the Apple Gerls’ (sic) is out now on infectious      records (infect82cds).  Try Piccadilly records
   The next single `Space Capsule’ is released on 19/6/00
   The album `Children of Telepathic Experiences’ is released on 10/7/00
(The Questions by number type)
Ged:  Where are you from?
D: Presser Towner is from Canada, and both Burke Reid and myself are from Australia
 We’ve  been together for approx.. 6 years and are fairly well known back in Oz.
G: What/who are your influences?
D: Sonic Youth, Devo, Kraftwerk,  Badly Drawn Boy -I really love what he does-, Truemans  Water (American)  Daft Punk etc.
G:  How did you manage to get across here?
D:  Quantas? (I put that in- Ged) The invitation to come across to the UK came out of the  blue.  Seafood had heard one of our discs and contacted us.
 (Note during the gig, Seafood thanked Gerling for being excellent- no acrimonious  backstage rows here then )
G: So what are your future plans
D: This short visit ends June, then  we’ll return home to record new stuff, but we will be  back later in the year around October time.  Most of the stuff we’ve done tonight is up to  2 years old so we hope to get some new stuff together
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