Thursday, May 23, 2013

Royal Limp at Corsica Studios

Corsica Studios is tucked down behind the Elephant and Castle and as a venue/rehearsal studio has been there for 30 years without changing one iota. Inside, it has the feel of an evil circus tent, decked with black drapes in some places and scuffed and well-used in others. Almost cave-like, it forms a womb for all kinds of musical activities, but mostly those that involve guitars: the land of rock!
This part of London morphs constantly, so it was extraordinary to find the place so unchanged.
I dived into the crowd, who were a stylish mixture of men and women, partly perhaps because the headline act, Bleached, reputedly owe a lot to Riot Grrl.
Royal Limp took to the stage and buckled on their weapons: in this case a rather smart Fender Jaguar, a semi-acoustic guitar, bass drums and electronic keyboard, before crashing into their first number which was a Velvet Underground-inspired introduction to a set that often referenced that iconic band, alongside The Fall (they did a fantastic cover of Your Heart Out).
OOF-A-THWACKA OOF-A-THWACKA! the drums commanded us to dance, and by the fourth (as yet untitled) song they were well into their stride. Sometimes the bass was to the forefront, fuzz riffs bursting out of vintage speakers; the lead guitar wove and stabbed through the mix, echoing the best of Sterling Morrison. To one side, the keyboard player stood as cool as a cucumber providing a steady wall of chords to underpin the noise. Singer Andy commanded the microphone with aplomb and he provides a strong focal point above the clamouring of the band behind him.
All too soon, he announced the last song, which began with a punchy drum rhythm; the organ played a sinister motif snaking through the wall of guitar noise which attacked the song like a swarm of angry wasps.
Ears buzzing, I headed home to land of beige: this had been an inspiring gig! Roll on the next one.

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