Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Against Me + Crazy Arm @ Norwich Arts Centre 21/11/11

Written for Lights Go out zine

Vicky from Crazy Arm lends Against Me! a hand.

Against Me! have gone through a lot of stylistic and directional changes over the years, and each time I've seen them the joyful passion they exude on stage gets more intense, but bands can't stay on top forever can they?  Can they?  Read on...

We missed the first band on due to the fact the modern marvel that is the cash machine is yet to grace the streets of Norwich, not that we could see anyhow, but then we are but simple folk from the rural village of Ipswich dazzled by the bright lights of a big city (as the lovely Pete 'Mild' Peril pointed out).

Crazy Arm were not at all what we were expecting - normally we enjoy punk rock tinged with Country about as much as ice cream tinged with dog toffee - but Crazy Arm played with all the intensity of power-sander dentistry, and packed a punch like a nuclear powered erm (bear with me while I look around my desk for inspiration) stapler. Okay, I guess that analogy doesn't work, but Crazy Arm were the perfect kissing cousins to Against Me (quite literally, as Tom Gabel was later to disclose from the stage).

Against Me! frontman @TommyGabel drew a single breath to introduce the band then they pounded through an extremely eclectic set of very old, not so old and brand new material.  I've seen this band a bunch of times but never somewhere as small as Nickers. Off. Ready. When. I. Come. Home. Arts Centre and the power blasting from the stage was almost a little overwhelming at times. Almost.  There a lot of young kids in the audience which is heartening, because Against Me are a band that just keep getting better and better.

The highlight of the set for me was when Vicky from Crazy Arm joined the band on stage for a spine shattering version of 'Bourne on the FM waves of the heart' - a song I never thought I'd get to see live.

I passionately love a lot of bands, but for me Against Me are a level higher - they're a band I wish I was in.

Too soon it was over and we headed back to Ipswich, a town where they now turn the lights off at midnight.

Andrew Culture