We've heard of the artistic strop, but few prove as commendable, nor guiltily enjoyable, as this.

Half-way through 22-20s' ecstatic headline set during the week of release for their soon-to-be-top-40 debut LP, during a rammed 'n' intimate Basement Club headline, frontman Martin Trimble sneers.

22-20s

'This is our last song,' he pronounces under a mane of fringe. We don't believe him at all, of course. It's only been 30 minutes.

But he's not lying. 'The Devil In Me' ends in a cacophony of guitar feedback and ravaged drums, and Trimble leaps off the stage and disappears into the band-room at the side. A rapt response follows, along with calls for 'encore'. No. That's your lot. And no-one minds.

22-20s

After all, it would be a disappointment if all that preceded it weren't so eloquent, sharp and exhaustively entertaining. First up: Agent Blue - recent major-label signings that seem as disaffected of their surroundings as an athlete contracting a crippling hamstring prior to the final furlong. For them it's as if punk was only born yesterday - these kids still stink of the breast-milk that they've suckled on since being born (well, that and the Jack Daniel's they've been hammering since 11am).

Vocalist Nic Andrews has the same demented, wobbling sense of garbled, innocuous cool that inspired the rabid likes of Sid Vicious, dangling the mic above his gullet, blaring and blurting, and staring the audience out whilst his backers create a lethal racket. Best of all: 'Sex, Drugs, 'N' Rocks Through Your Window' - a potential anthem, if we ever did hear one, and we bet they've got experience of indulgence in all such three of life's fineries. The crowd is in love.

Then more up-tempo, if twisted, rollickings - the demonic force of 22-20s arrives in view, as does their opening gambit, the Tarantino blues waltz of 'Why Don't You Do It For Me?'. Then follows an abrupt, riotous heads-nodding of a ride - '22 Days', 'Such A Fool' and a deliriously dizzying 'I'm The One' intoxicate and hypnotise. The applause is desperate and giving, yet clearly not enough for the onstage contingent. This is all getting a bit much, a bit heated. They throw up one more bite - 'The Devil...' - and rocket from the performance-space like a dog 'round the track. It's exhilarating, tortured and impacting to say the least.

22-20s

So we celebrate, as is customary. Our DJs' inspired blend of Lightning Bolt, Bjork, Bon Jovi and Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' is somewhat too peculiar, and we're kicked out an hour earlier than usual (possibly not aided by certain rockfeedbackers' attempts to climb the bar).

See you on October 28th. Didn't you hear? It's our 2nd birthday. And you're invited. Order tickets now (from that banner-y thing above this article, ya hear?). We've got special guests for you.

Photo-Credit: Patricia L Brown

Low-Key LP Launching Raggedness’

23 Sep 2004

22-20'S / AGENT BLUE

Buffalo Bar


London

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