First of all, yes, it’s been ages again. What happened? Well, after I got stuck in Dublin airport, I went to Germany for the day on the ICE (lovely), London for 14 hours on the Eurostar (swishy, especially as I jammily got to go in First) and Luxembourg. Luxembourg’s going to get a whole post of its own due it being a Ruritanian mountain fiefdom with hedge fund managers instead of peasants, but I’m not in enough of a coffee-fuelled rage to begin to pen that yet, so let’s wait and see.
Also I’ve just been busy. There’s been cooking – I learnt to roast a leg of lamb – fine wine and dining galore and also lots of trips to the cinema. These have included excellent South Korean horror movie (but really clever metaphor for US involvement in the Far East) The Host and the cheese extravaganza that was Spiderman 3: The emo musical.
Also I have been reading. I haven’t done a book thing on here for ages but I’m definitely planning one on on Nicolas Freeling – I’ve been re-reading his books, especially the early Van der Valk novels, and thoroughly enjoying them. Also I purchased Neil McKenna’s ‘The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde’ when I was in Dublin, which is revealing that not only does my idol have feet of clay, he was also a total and utter cad. However the book is annoying me deeply with its conflation of certain events: Wilde ‘probably’ did x with y, he ‘almost inevitably’ must have met such-and-such in New York and ‘in all likelihood’ he did blah as well. Now look, I know we’re dealing with events happening last century and you can’t exactly pick up the phone and check BUT there’s only so much idle speculation I can handle in a work of biography.
Because I can’t just leave you with selection of post-lunch thoughts here’s a review I wrote a while ago of an extremely fun up-and-coming band called ‘The Aim’ playing live at an absolutely brilliant club called ‘White Trash’ in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin.
Berlin. It’s a city with one hell of a reputation, a glittering cabaret act of decadent debauchery – a lot for a group to live up to. But when Iturn up at a kitsch-filled proto-goth bar in a former Chinese restaurant in East Berlin, the vibes are good. And when The Aim come onstage, they’re excellent.
All four of the band look androgynously alluring in identical poker straight black trousers, dress shirts and flowing black cravats. Eyeliner is de rigeur for both the boys and the girl and the fact that the tiny stage is covered with their black-and-white target logos show The Aim are a group who understand that a sharp, sexy image matters just as much as killer riffs.
The audience is full of Berlin scenesters modelling a variety of looks from lost new romantic to trilby-wearing mod but everyone starts to move when The Aim launch into their edgy, angular brand of rock. Catchy hooks which recall mod, new wave and krautrock influences are brought to life by a stage presence which can only be described as pure energy.
The band’s myspace proudly refers to their ‘kick-ass live performance’ and the move form their native Copenhagen to the German capital has only revved their motors further. Songs follow each other at breakneck pace and frontwoman Veronica D’Souza is a sexy, sassy, hair-tossing frontwoman who could even teach Justine Frischmann circa 1995 a thing or two about how to move onstage.
The energy just builds and builds and by the last couple of songs, Veronica and bassist Greg are playing back-to-back with a frenetic enthusiasm which has even the most tryhard emo kids grinning with joy. Even though the ceiling’s barely high enough for us to stand, D’Souza launches into the crowd, whilst guitarist Adam and drummer R.R. – a man too damn cool to have a first name – keep the infectious riffs coming.
As the band leave the stage to wild screams I get the feeling I’m not the only person in the room who’s convinced Berlin’s a city where the spirit of edgy, sexy rock is as potent as ever – and that the The Aim are right on target to rock.