Chaos. Disorder. Confusion. These are the conditions in which Arrows of Love thrive, and at tonight’s show, the launch party for new single ‘Beast’, they deliver all three in abundance.
Confusion is certainly the order of the day during Melt Dunes‘ opening set, with a hyperactive smoke machine rendering the band practically invisible. From somewhere within the murk a crisp krautrock beat underpins a building post-rock/shoegaze drone.
Cult punk heroes The Homosexuals played their first show in 1978 and frontman Bruno Wizard, reunited today with his original drummer along with a few more recent recruits, still has the DIY flame burning in his heart almost 40 years later. His between song homilies on love and magic are every bit as engaging as the proto-post-punk tunes, which include classic single ‘Hearts In Exile’.
Headliners Arrows of Love take to the stage and burst into a furious frenzy of distorted punk venom. The strain tells immediately on frontman Nima Teranchi’s guitar, with first a string and then the entire instrument submitting to the onslaught. A quick instrument swap later and they blast back into a set made up of the highlights of 2014’s debut album Everything’s Fucked along with a number of brand new tracks, which provide many of the high points of the night.
Before long Nima’s staggering through the crowd, hunched into his trenchcoat, sharing a mic with Bruno Wizard in the front row. He’s been heavily involved in a battle with property developers over the future of Vittoria Wharf, the band’s home and workspace, and as he spits the lyrics to new single ‘Beast’ into the mic, it’s as if every word is laced with the frustrations of the drawn-out campaign.
Back on stage, bassist Nuha bows her instrument creating long, aching squalls that add a new texture to the band’s spiky and acerbic sound before ditching it to scream the chorus of recent track ‘Toad’ into her mic.
By the end of the show, most of the band have been in the crowd, Nima’s handed his mic and guitar to the front row (half of whom are now decorated with pink make up scrawls), and the Lexington is reverberating to howls of distorted feedback. Chaos. Disorder. Confusion. Catharsis. Togetherness. Love.
Review and Photography by Paul Maps
Find out how you can support the campaign to save Vittoria Wharf at facebook.com/savehackneywick