I’ll be honest i wasn’t even aware the band were playing in Glasgow until i was casually dragging my cheap converse down Argylle Street and noticed a torn poster bearing the bands name and gig details. And that was it, before i know it i was there.
O.Children are a band i’ve only really gotten into over the last year or so. I first came across the band when reading an article in Artrocker magazine. The first song i heard of theres was Ruins and i was almost immediately taken in by the pulsating, constant rhythm of the track and the synths that gave the song a wash over of gothic knowingness. Their influences were clear from the get go. Bauhaus, The Cure and Joy Division. Then when you take into account that they’re named after a Nick Cave song it all starts to make sense. I was sold.
Their debut album came out in July this year. By that time i had heard “Dead Disco Dancer” and “Radio Waves” alongside the aforementioned “Ruins”. So i stuck on my headphones and settled down onto the couch. One full album listen later and i was engrossed in their sound to the point of playing it three to four times a day. Every listen offering new avenues of love, fear and heartbreak with a strong image of the dark side of the 80’s shining through. Just like Interpol, Stellastarr and She Wants Revenge before them this band are proud to keep their dark wave influences and heroes in full view.
That was then, this is now. The band stand patiently on the edge of coolness, waiting for that big break and it’s coming their way sometime soon. They’ve already taken a step towards the hip side of things in the form of being remixed by ultra hipster electro mini gods and famed remixers The Golden Filter.
But enough bigging them and the album up. Could they cut it live?
Silly question, of course they could!
Armed with their debut album and a sense of fashion that The Horrors could only wish they had O’Children and their frontman Tobi O’Kandi bring an immediate presence to the small dingy basement area of the Nice n Sleazys venue. I’ve seen many a band in here but i somehow feel something special is brewing. I take a look around though and discover that apart from myself and Luisa there are only another 21 people in the room. That’s including the band, ticket lady, merchandise dude and bar staff! The gig could go either way here, the band could let it get to them and play a nightmare show or use it as fire and play a blinding set. They do the latter and show an admirable amount of confidence to put on an epic, intense display. For all they care they could be playing to 14 people or 14,000 people. Who cares? The lucky ones are here tonight.
Frontman O’Kandi towers over his mic stands, lingering his giant frame in the centre of the stage and bellowing notes from the very lowest pit of his 6ft 8in structure. The voice and look that O’Kandi possesses conjure up images of Nick Cave having a baritone contest with Mark Lanegan in the body of an even taller male version of Grace Jones. A nice mixture. He’s charismatic, enigmatic and hard not to love. His size alone is intriguing but you know that at the soul of this booming voice is a poet with a lyrical talent reminiscent of Ian Curtis and Robert Smith. That gives him an aura that you have to see live to truly capture and appreciate. He’s almost shaman like. The rest of the band aren’t bad either, going around their business with a sense of tightness only capapble by band members that know what each other is thinking before a chord has been struck or a drum skin even slightly brushed. The music itself evokes the darkest of emotions yet is somehow also very danceable. And although i myself refrain, from shaking my thang, the gangly singer has arms flailing and jelly legs throughout some of the more beat based numbers. Often encouraging the small devoted audience to join in with him. I’ve seen the idea of a singer using two mics before as well but not like the way O’Kandi does. He uses them to alternate between an eerie delay effect and one that shows off his deep, almost ironically evil yet dulcet tones. The sounds being produced from the amps takes over every corner of the venue and the dark mood they create makes an already darkened room just that little bit darker.
MP3: O.Children – Malo
So O.Children at the moment, by next year O.Teenagers maybe? And in a few years time i would be surprised if they’re mentioned in the same breath as their peers. O.Adults anyone? The album is currently on sale for a measly 5 pounds in Fopp on Union Street Glasgow. Buy now! Bargain of the year.
We took a lot of pictures. Here’s the two i like the most.
S.I.T Wolf X
ps. if by chance the guy who was at the left of the stage the entire gig and was filming is reading this then i would appreciate a copy!