Netsounds Unsigned Takeover: The Little Mill Of Happiness and Garden Of Elks Review!

I wasn’t going to do a review of this but I was able to see the whole damned gig for once so I will. Alas, no pics of Little Mill as I hadn’t decided to write this when they were on. And I still only have a blackberry, so the pics of Elks aren’t fantastic either.

A Happy Little Mill

Things kicked off with Inverness’ own The Little Mill Of Happiness. A second EP is in the works so I was looking forward to hearing some new (at least to me) material. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to see them live. Never a band to disappoint, there was new stuff a plenty. I didn’t take any notes so I’ll just sum up. Basically what you expect from Little Mill, risky lyrics growled with feeling that pull no punches and don’t care what you think backed by immensely well played instruments. Solid guitar and bass hooks, pumping drums. One track that definitely wasn’t new, Drying Out Wishbones, did have a new treatment. Bit faster, bit thrashier, still immense.

Disclaimer for all of the above. New = new to me. Also “what you expect” doesn’t mean samey, it means “this is their sound and its really fucking good”. Catch Little Mill the next chance you get.

Speaking of really fucking good, Garden of Elks. Headliners for the first takeover of the year and a fine pick they were too. Well done Netsounds. If I closed my eyes I could easily have imagined that I was in a dirty basement in the mid nineties, somewhere in northern England, surrounded by sweaty punks jumping around like nutters. That’s the Elk sound. High energy, no respite noise. The boys have lots of hair so the best way to see the intensity is to watch lady drummer Kirstin at the start of a song. Calm ready to start face, quick change to “immaplaysomefuckingmusic” face and we’re off. Thrashy guitar and bass, thumping drums. Harmonised, as much as punk harmonises, girl/boy vocals. Fun. I for one am very glad that the lo-fi punk aesthetic is alive and well (they had TAPES!) being kept alive by the likes of these guys, Cleavers, and PAWS. The kind of music that if you aren’t paying attention spins you round, grabs your lapels and yells in your face until your having fun.

So in short, good gig eh? Most of the above is probably rambley bollocks but I wrote it on the bus and I’m a shit writer at the best of times. Music is for listening to so head over to both bands pages and treat your ears. And they’re on the radio shows play list obviously.

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