Sister, Trap2 @ Death Disco, Notting Hill Arts Club 11/​05/​05

Playing a London gig is often a fairly unpredictable affair. With a countless number of venues within such a close proximity of each other, how can you be guaranteed a crowd when in all likelihood Willy Mason’s busking outside, Pete Doherty’s getting involved in an onstage scrap down the road and The Others are about to play on the tube. Well, one idea would be to call it Death Disco and have some bloke called Alan McGee hand pick the bands and turn up for a DJ slot on a regular basis.

The result? A healthy crowd of onlookers, cross armed and waiting to be impressed, await the arrival of Sister on stage. It’s obvious from the outset what to expect. Tonight there will be no crunching guitar riffs, poses, stupid haircuts or inflated egos from the quietly assembled musicians who take to the stage. With an endearing front lady and a band who know exactly how to accompany well written songs, Sister prove to captivate the minds of even the most hardened art rockers in the audience. You’d even be forgiven for believing Nico has been reunited with The Velvet Underground for just one evening, ready to show everyone how to make songs that have the driving rhythm of a steam train while still appearing as if they can all fall apart at any moment. Watch out for them, they’ll be back again soon.

After thirty minutes or so of Dutch beer and dancing, Gigwise hears ‘something’ from the adjacent room. After only a few seconds it becomes apparent that it’s yet another crunching guitar riff from yet another poser with a stupid haircut to match his over inflated ego. A harsh statement, but it’s exactly what flitted through Gigwise’s mind in those first few seconds of Trap 2. Upon further inspection, the hair wasn’t so bad after all and the poses were only your classic rock star shapes. Close escape. But then, so what if it had been The Bravery strutting about on stage, at least then there would have been an attempt at a visual show. Everyone can laugh at a poser who wishes he was Morrissey, even if there is nothing to listen to. But when artists do dress up, they get attacked. Why I hear you ask. I’ll tell you why. It’s because they all make appalling music (well, most of them). After approximately 20 minutes of debating what Gigwise would prefer to watch, ‘Mullet or Mohawk,’ it became clear that Trap 2 didn’t make great music. If they did, it wouldn’t be an issue. Go check out their soon to be released ‘Low Without Sound’ EP to hear the point being made. The lack of imagination isn’t the main problem here. It’s the lack of substance and finesse to songs on an otherwise tried and tested route which really damages the ear drums. EP opener ‘Welcome to the Zoo’ does get the crowd going, but treads a dangerous line between The Music and Kasabian (who share Trap2’s management) and soon becomes a parody of itself. This story is repeated time and time again, as each song fails to deliver a note of interest.

In a different musical climate perhaps Trap2 could survive. But with the likes of Maximo Park and Bloc Party having stupid hair AND great pop tunes, things look bleak for the Kasabian wannabe’s.

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