Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tied + Tickled - 05/10/2007@Ancienne Belgique, Bruxelles

Any band with two girls (cellist/xylophonist and keyboardist, plus some guy on drums) has my immediate sympathy, but, in this case, that dissipated very quickly. The unannounced opener, which remained anonymous throughout a brief set that seemed too long anyway, was undoubtedly among the worst concerts I've attended. Perhaps the worst.

They played simplistic, repetitive, my-first-chord-progression motifs devoid of any creative effort. I could be accused of taking them altogether seriously, but I think it's the other way around: they drew such disproportionate self-satisfaction from the faintest sign of creativity or humour (playing "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" on kazoo, a burst of noise at the end of one song, the shaking of a banana-shaped shaker) that my loathing seemed justified.

If this was a terrible-opener-makes-headliner-look-good gambit, it totally back-fired. After a few songs of Tied + Tickled's electronica equivalent of bar-room rock, I left, fed up. I had come to this concert because of distant memories of a prior album, Observing Systems. I haven't yet re-listened to refresh my memory, but I can't imagine it sounded like what I heard here. As I went down the stairs leading outside, a woman ahead of me confirmed my suspicions when she complained to her partner: "That was so crap, compared to they used to do."