Drawing the short straw– or at least performing like they had drawn the short straw – and therefore on first were local band Top Dollar. Seemingly at the limit of their abilities, they performed an uninspired parody of garage rock with all the leaden imprecision of a covers band at a hairdresser’s wedding. Little wonder that they were somewhat reticent about announcing their identity.
A distinct step up the evolutionary chain were London band Mazes. Sounding much like you would expect an American power pop band to sound if they had been transplanted with British post punk sensibilities, and, whilst not quite getting it on with the audience, they soon proved that guitars and a sharp lyric are what you need to make a pop song.
What the world needs now is glamour and glamour is what the Dum Dum Girls brought to the style deprived basement of Stereo. That and a near hypnotic grunge meets wispy girly harmonies sound that surely entranced even the most jaded ears. In fact, so hypnotised was I that I got to thinking that maybe they were vampires. They were, after all, dressed in black and, while the spotlight did cast their shadows on the wall, there was just something splendidly unreal about those pounding drums and reverb laden guitars. The Dum Dum Girls just had to be vampires. It’s logical when you think about it
By the way, it also occurred to me (again) that fringes are seriously cute. Especially on girls with guitars. And vampires.