Getting soaked in the rain is always the best start to an evening. So much for the summer! I walked into Grand Rokk like a drowned rabbit; the mixed smell of alcohol and damp precipitation was enough to put a grown-ish man right off. But in the name of indie-rock, and more importantly journalism, I braved the senses and ventured upstairs.
The venue was almost empty, with the exception of the staff, other bands and us at the Grapevine for the first band, Me, The Slumbering Napoleon. Lead vocalist Binni, resembling a modern day Jack The Ripper minus the murders, captivated the audience with a sense of urgency through vocal techniques, both screamed and spoken, complimenting the rest of the band’s angular chops and frantic math driven rhythms. Imagine Steve Albini doing Slint covers, but with ‘cooler’ hair.
Thankfully, as the weather turned vastly pleasant, the gracious Rökkurró followed in procession. The multi-instrumental five piece followed eloquently through their set, combining romantic shoegaze, shimmering guitar tweaks and sensual femella vocals. Contrasting dramatic strings and intelligent drum patterns kept the crowd in awe.
By now Grand Rokk was flooded with anticipation for the gloomy post-punk trio Kimono. Some might say that the band’s apparent popularity hails them as The Cure for the Cheap Monday generation. You can see why though. Baritone guitars and surrealistic vocals, complimented the drab environment and metrological conditions.
Highlights of the evening included Kimono front man Alex MacNeil’s uncanny resemblance to Robert Smith, as well as the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by Grand Rokk’s on-lookers from the varied acts of the night.