Monday, October 25, 2010

Live: Hard Skin with forgetters @ Europa 10.22.10

On the surface, this seemed like an odd pairing, but it didn't stop me from snapping up a ticket to this with the quickness. Much like Leatherface, Hard Skin don't make it across the pond all that often, so when they do, one goes out of one's way to see them. It's been a couple of years since they've been in NY and their piss taking is always a breath of fresh air, especially in the midst of the nightmare that is CMJ. Like I said, Hard Skin would be enough to get me on the bike to Greenpoint, but forgetters on the bill upped the ante somewhat. I really like the new 7" (on their own Too Small To Fail Records) and the live shows are getting better and better. Someone in the band seems a wee bit miserable, but as a whole, the rock tends to be pretty good.

Europa is a decent enough place to see a show. I guess their bread and butter is Polish techno dance nights, but they have a pretty regular show schedule there, the best part of which is the ever-so-hardline time curfew that demarcates the rock stopping and the techno dropping. The Hardcore Gig Volume web presence was pretty clear about the 10:30 cut-off and continued kudos to that crew for continually booking the best, most-efficiently run shows in NY. I got in as forgetters were setting up and posted up in back. I figured the Hard Skin crowd would get a little frisky and I've been meaning to record more live sets, so real estate was staked out and levels were checked and I settled in. Blake is triggering samples from unknown to this ignoramus British film sources between songs, which keeps the stage chat to a minimum and the set moving along nicely. The band is really gelling. It's been over a year now since Blake and Carolina hooked up with Kevin and morphed from Thorns Of Life to become forgetters. With all respect to Mr. Cometbus, the drum change made for an immediate improvement in the franchise, but something seemed to be lacking in the three or four shows I saw the band play. As they pass the year mark, the shows have been getting better and better and their overcoming the recording inertia bodes well for a quality full-length in the future, although dollars to donuts says we see forgetters embracing the Paint It Black regular EP release aesthetic. I understand there is a tour behind the 7" coming and judging from this set, I'd say it's worth checking out. I got a pretty decent recording. Holler if you want to hear and I'll send you a link. If you ask, don't be a douche and sell it. Thanks.

Hard Skin were up in pretty short order. They had been holding court and doing a brisk business at their exceedingly well-stocked merch table for most of the opening sets. They are always on borrowed gear, which doesn't really lend credence to the idea that they come in on work visas, so it's a mystery as to how they are as well stocked as they are, but the real reason we see Hard Skin is because they are a great (fake) Oi! band that is funny as hell to (steel-toe oxblood) boot. After a curious soundcheck of sorts that did little save for expose the fact that Fat Bob has no idea how to tune a bass, it was off the to the races. The room was lukewarm at best for forgetters, but exploded into one of the best circle pits I've seen in eons once our heroes stopped talking shit(e) and finally lurched into Oi! not Jobs. They got a late start and talked their way through what could have been their encore and even the estimable Ian Dickson's unstoppable combination of enormous size and level-headed reason couldn't move the Polish powers that be to let them play longer than the 4o minutes they actually played. AC/AC and most of your favorites were in the set, as well as some classic Fat Bob banter highlighted by an earnest thanks to forgetters for allowing Hard Skin the privilege of sharing a bill with ex-members of Jawbox. If you would like the home version of this set, e-mail me and I'll send you a link. Again, don't be an asshole and sell it if I pass you the recording.

Up The Punx!


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