LIVE: Matt Battle, Scrappy (Milk Kan), The Plan @ The Fighting Cocks, Kingston-Upon-Thames, 25th Jul

Ted’s Records’ first UK gig! It’s a belter, too

The Plan

It’s not *my* first UK gig, I grew up here (and tonight, that’s literally true), but this is the first show I’ve shot and seen as Ted’s Records, so it’s a first of sorts.

Which is apt, since this is the first public outing for brand new label Southend Records. Southend is London’s Woollongong, the fun place on the coast a little way out of the city. Since label head Rebecca (pictured playing for The Plan above) grew up here too though, she’s decamped the launch to where her roots are, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s also worth noting that if anyone ever finds themselves at a loose end in south-west London, make damn sure you pay this venue a visit. It’s a punk-rock new music fantasy, an oasis of badass and fun in a suburban desert. What a venue.

The Plan open up for the launch of Southend Records with a bunch of homemade instruments, a sound somewhere between The Slits and Pavement, plus a galactic sense of both the absurd and some stompy bonkersness. It’s precisely as brilliant as that sounds. What a wonderful bunch of weirdos.

Scrappy (Milk Kan)

Scrappy is off of Milk Kan – approved by a bunch of radio luminaries like Huw Stephens and his ilk – but is stripped back tonight, backed only by a lap steel and his own acoustic. This is the sort of nuttiness that should only make sense in London – smooth Americana and country rhythms topped with total geezer accents singing about “Nikes and Nandos” and various Sarf London landmarks. It’s snarky and sneery and it sounds like every conversation I had as a kid and every record that made me dream of a wider world all at the same time. It’s Jamie T channelling Johnny Cash and it’s sad, funny, totally fucking batty, and it feels just like home.

Matt BattleIt’s an album launch as well as a label launch tonight, and Matt Battle is showing off an oddball take on everything. There’s something distinctly off-kilter here, like a deliberate off-note, a strange harmony, a bent rhythm. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s not immediate, you need to think about it. I’m a big fan of that. This is strange stuff and not a little wild-eyed – “Life Rehearsal” has all the elements of a comfortable pop song but is totally wrenched out of shape into something crazed and loony. What utter bloody fun.

FULL PHOTO GALLERIES

Matt Battle

 

Scrappy (Milk Kan)

 

The Plan