I have been looking forward to seeing a full
set by new(ish) local act, eNTERTAINME.nt, for quite some time.
An all covers performance (nothing but Joy Division covers,
played a little too slow for someone who listens to the live
JD albums, but played very competently nonetheless) and a short
set at The Atlantis Music
Conference had whetted my appetite for a longer set from
But first, the opening act, an all girl band from Tallahassee, Florida, called Girls on Film. Despite the name, they are not a Duran Duran cover band, nor did they even do a Duran Duran cover. They are, however, a competent and energetic 4-piece with a deep 80s influence. Their wardrobe, for starters, was straight out of new wave: odd angular hairdos, tight neon leggings, primary colored skirts and shirts. Very dynamic, and i stood there thinking, "Dammit, if ever there was a night to wear one of my skinny ties, this is it!" Alas, i was skinny tie-less.
Another interesting thing about Girls on Film is that they do not have a guitarist. They consist of bass, keyboards, drums, and vocals. The drums were an electronic kit (for that extra bit of retro feel), and the keyboardist also ran a laptop with some loops (not very 80s, but sort of in the spirit of things, so i'll forgive her). The bass was the lead instrument, and i got the impression that it was supposed to be exchanging melody lines with the keyboards, which were unfortunately under-mixed. The voice was interesting -- a quirky, jerky way of singing reminiscent of Lene Lovich or that girl from Missing Persons.
Overall, they were a lot of fun. I can see how anyone not into
the 80s would be unimpressed, but i found them to be very enjoyable.
We had a relatively short wait until eNTERTAINME.nt took the
stage. Tonight, they were all dressed in black and came across
as less glam, more goth than they did at Atlantis.
Again, the keys were under-mixed on this 5 piece (also including
drums, guitar, bass, and voice). Apparently The Echo's soundguys
just have a hard time with keyboards in rock acts. Oh well.
The sound mix actually sounded a lot more balanced back at the
sound booth, so eventually i gravitated back there, instead
of standing in the sonic mud towards the front of the club.
The second song they played this evening was Safe, at One, the A-side
to their debut
7" record. The guitars were even punkier than they are on
record, and the pace was just a hair faster. It sounded really
good. Towards the end of their set they played The Queen's
Beasts (or, Suffer Fools), the B-side to that same single,
making sure to play both of the songs i was familiar with. This
also sounded good live, and was played a little bit faster than
In between, they played several songs, all of which sounded really nice. The guitar was loud and trebly and up front, and the keys were an understated haze (at least from the back of the club) that really worked well. The bass and drums provided a very firm backing for the songs, and the voice sounded good -- not too loud, but not too lost in the mix either.
They left the stage after 40 minutes, only to come back on
in a minute or two for an encore. Hey, it was almost empty and
they are a local band... Anyway, they did a decent version of
the Joy Division classic Transmission. It was a little
too faithful to the original (and the album version at that,
not the live version off of the Les
Bains Douches bootleg), but it sounded very nice.
Overall, i really enjoyed their set. They are a pretty typical post-punk/proto-goth act, but they do it very well. That, plus the fact that almost no one does this type of stuff live anymore, makes them very interesting to me. Go check them out if that early 80s sound is something you enjoy.
By this point in time we Minions were tired, but we decided to stick around for a little bit of Prospeto, the headliner. This band was a three piece of guitar, drums and voice/bass. The vocalist was female, and her voice was mixed very high over the other sounds. This gave them an almost Concrete Blonde sort of feel. Indeed, they did play high energy, bouncy rock music, and they sounded very good. However, it wasn't dynamic enough to keep me out so late, so we headed home.
Overall, a good evening.