Live Review: Brixton Hill Studios AGM at The Windmill, ft. The Monochrome Set, CuT, Sleepy People, Coltana, The Apathy Band, Hot Sauce Pony, Kate Arnold, Matt Edible & more

Today marks my fourth visit in eight days to esteemed South London rock & roll establishment The Windmill, and it’s fair to say that despite generous helpings of its near legendary barbeque, I’m beginning to feel the pace, but with tonight’s entertainments laid on by the reliably excellent Brixton Hill Studios crew there’s plenty to make the return journey worthwhile.

Exactly 24 hours previously I’d arrived comparatively bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the excellent Sunburn all-dayer (review here), and it doesn’t take long for Hot Sauce Pony to blow away the cobwebs and get me back into the swing.  Having added a delicious extra layer of heaviness to the catchy, driving indie sound that made first single ‘Fenced In’ such a delight, HSP are exactly what the doctor ordered.

Equally welcome is the chance to escape into the sunshine for the outdoor ‘House of Seamus’ stage, where we’re treated to stripped back sets from artists including Phil Rambow, Rev. Jennifer Husband, Local Trouts and Ben Mark Weaver.  Our personal highlights come from the lush dulcimer loops and ethereal vocals of Kate Arnold, and Matt Edible‘s cantankerous humour.

Back inside, following SCUD FM’s flugelhorn enhanced lo-fi electro and Horace’s effects laden instrumental post-rock we’re treated to an audio-visual feast by Bob & Roberta Smith’s The Apathy Band.  The prospect of a 30 minute lecture on the value of art set to a live improvised soundtrack may not be the most appealing on paper, but Jessica Voorsanger’s wonderful deadpan delivery, the incessantly funky music and the backing vocals delivered in soprano by a woman wearing what appears to be an elaborate turkey suit, a billowing 50s polka dot dress and sci-fi shades makes for an utterly transfixing experience.

Next band Coltana are Brixton locals and familiar to us from their previous project Poeticat.  The new material pairs up hard rock riffs with frontwoman Cat’s direct vocals (expressed most clearly in recent EP track ‘Fuck Those Fuckers’) and physical onstage presence.

They’re followed by Sleepy People, reformed after a 14 year absence, whose set of glammed of punk-prog is well received by a growing crowd.

CuT have been favourites around these parts for quite some time and appeared at this same venue for last year’s Joyfest.  If anything since then their heavily politicised psychedelic space punk has become event more fervent and frenzied, with frontman Dan Fatel at one point reading from ‘Capitalist Realism’ while the band unleash hell around him.

Our final act of the night, The Monochrome Set, are rather impressively celebrating 40 years since their formation.  The band were heavily influential in the post-punk scene and are clearly still very much loved on the basis of the reception they get tonight.

Review and Photography by Paul Maps

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