review by Jason Kinnard
photos by Jim Bennett
Tuesday night was one of those crazy weeknights with a few conflicting show choices. Dr.Dog @ The Crocodile, The Presets @ Neumo’s, and a couple great U.K. bands at Chop Suey. What’s a kid to do on a school night? With Glasvegas the previous night, it’s been a busy week for U.K. music in this town, but I figured I’d roll with the theme.
The Whip (Manchester) and Late of the Pier (Nottingham) arrived at Chop Suey after a long 3 day van ride from Chicago. The Whip admitted they had some pent up energy they needed to get out, and boy they weren’t kidding! For those uninitiated with The Whip, they play an extremely up-tempo style of Electronic Pop that was just perfectly suited to Chop Suey. Despite the extended sound checks and delayed entry, it was clear they had worked on getting the sound right and they sounded huge on the cramped stage. I don’t know if it was the sound guy, the equipment, or just the room, but Chop Suey sounded fantastic for these guys and it was obvious from their faces they were enjoying it too. The room was still filling up as the band took the stage but they didn’t hesitate unleashing their Electronic assault on the unsuspecting crowd. Immediately noticeable was their amazing female drummer, Lil Fee. If anyone resembled a “whip” it was her as she ripped through an exhausting set of constant beats, none of which she missed. I’m still not sure where she got all the energy. All you could see was hair and sticks flying and all I could say was “wow”! Lots of dancing and hand clapping were in order; I love bands who urge the crowd on. They ended their short set with an amazing extended version of their hit song “Death.” The Whip definitely made an impression on this listener.
Next up were headliners Late of the Pier. Clearly the big draw of the evening, these young Nottingham chaps had a lot of fun on stage. Keyboards and guitars were littered everywhere. The band has had success with their adventurous new album “Fantasy Black Channel” which is a mix of random electronic dance beats and creative silliness. They draw a lot of comparisons to the Klaxons, although after having seen both bands live I’m not sure I’d draw the same conclusion. Yes the band is silly, but I wouldn’t draw any more similarities than that. That silly vibe played right into the hands of the Seattle crowd however, as vigorous hand clapping and dancing ensued. Don’t try to label these guys either, Nu-Rave or Dance Pop fit on some songs but seem way out of genre on others. Clearly, this is a band that doesn’t want to be categorized. They brought a lot of great energy to the stage and it was clear they had also been in a van for three days. The band complimented the “beautiful” Seattle crowd and did more urging to dance as they bounced and clapped their way around the tiny stage. They played most of the material from the new album and one of my favorite songs in particular; “Space and the Woods” sounded fantastic live. All in all it was a great Tuesday night for music. Giant mohawk dude dancing in the crowd, we salute you!
And just like every great U.K. show in Seattle, it wouldn’t be complete without our very own DJ Shannon in attendance, on her birthday no less. Wicked indie cred.