It was the day of the Summer Solstice dawn’s sunrise on Salisbury Plain as Stonehenge, yet again, momentarily relinquished its timeless enigma to rain-drenched hippies hugging its blue-stone menhirs. Meanwhile, lascivious faux-Druids with a Gandalf fixation hoped to share their Wizard-staff of magic with daisy-chain weaving Peace-convoy fall-out ‘chick’ casualties called – respectively, ‘Crystal, Star & Destiny’. Some chance – with those straggly beards? Ugh! And, the blokes were just as bad.

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At the Hare, however, we addressed an altogether more challenging alt.reality phenomenon namely – The Mekano Set. Now, put aside all images of hale & hearty short-wearing home-counties school-boys and cardigan, pipe-smoking Dads with beaming Mums in the background ironically tutting at the untidy kitchen-table on the box covers of 50/60s construction kits.

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This Mekano Set proffer an altogether different mentalist construct. Being variously described as ‘…industrial-strength Shoegaze Nihilism…(with) hypnotic beats driving Hooky-esque basslines’ which probably just about hits the mark. The latter dystopian Joy Division name-check certainly resonates together with flavours of naive retro-gauche Depeche Modoalities.

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Post sound-check they entertain themselves on stage with smoke-machine abuse swathed in wrist-slash splatters of red lighting. This, presumably, distracting us from the shite weather and the Govian wank-fantasy of us all re-sitting our Latin O Levels. ‘Blue Velvet‘ plays on a VHS combi-TV for some reason known only to them. Or, was it for the Carthage set later? Perhaps it was a subliminal decoy for the absence of live drummers this evening?

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It was a fairly brief set of Proto-Goth/Punk analogue raw electronica delivered from three guitars, drum-machine doom and more pedal chaos than a Tour de France pile-up. Sort of Sigour Ros verses the Chemical Brothers on Diazepam.

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There’s a cheeky geeky reference to Cult’s ‘Sanctuary’ but the ‘shoegaze nihilism’ seems less a celebratory middle-finger gesture of counter-culture rebellion than something to agitate The Daily Mail readers. And, for that alone they’re to be treasured. Anyway, the punters loved them – all twelve of us! Shame on you – Hare stay-aways!

The last number was a grizzly baguette of barbed-wire oozing delicious dub-step bass instrumental groove loops feeding off a ‘ Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ riff.

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Promo-puff relates that Carthage – aka Damian Bennett – is a ‘Transitional/Techno Animal’. Be that as it may. His one man guitar/drum-machine combo feral rutted lustily with loops and samples before hooking-up with a bassist whose fuzz effects-pedal was surely DI socket-wired in to Satan’s pubic hair.

Some sepulchral minor chord bass re-tunings later and we were engulfed by Dantesque, apocalyptic voodoo bagpipe effects and disembodied sledge-hammer guitar-thrash doom. The set closed with ‘Corporate Greed’. Not sure if Mr. Bennett has read Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ yet, but when he does it’ll really piss on his chips and then we’ll see his music get really dark and angry. Can’t wait.

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Gig Review by John Kennedy
Gig Photos by Ian Dunn

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