Start The Bus, Bristol
Thursday 25th February 2016
Tonight feels like a proper home-grown occasion. Despite having its prestigious precedent set since its conception in 2008 by shows from the likes of Flying Lotus and Little Dragon, the modestly-sized bar and diner Start The Bus’ real tangent lies as a key player in the hubbub of Bristol’s music community. Its organic sound-system and down to Earth aesthetic make it the perfect for a band like The Plainviews to sink their teeth into; a band who visually live their ethos as well as any band I’ve seen. Comprising of members of fellow local upstarts Idles (who seem to be making a favourable amount of headway) and the St Pierre Snake Invasion, tonight’s occasion is one that feels like a poster-child for a city in full-support of its creative output.
Speak to any of the band’s three members and their approach to both song-writing and passion is refreshingly laissez-faire. A proposed release via chaotic fun and easiness that they may not get elsewhere, it’s the natural aspect of The Plainviews as both performers and people that makes them a distinguishable package, and maybe to be taken more seriously than their effortlessly warm and human tones would suggest. When they perform their raucous premiere track ‘Charlie Delta’ this evening, all the Future Of The Left-esque wit and artfulness is there in abundance, but it’s the sense of un-contrived nonchalance and punk-rock freedom that balances it out that helps it feel so fully formed.
Tonight, whether it’s the almost cathartic propulsion of the rhythm section or frontman Damian’s hoarse forays into back-of-the-throat screaming, everything feels as effortlessly fun as the band claim making the music was. Perhaps even more prominently, the band’s everyman identity shoots straight back to certain aspects of the glorious resurfacing from the dark days of Glam Metal in the early ‘90s. With all the ‘90s nostalgia in full flow at the turn of 2016, it feels vindictive that The Plainviews are capturing that explosive essence while being progressive.