It seems unusual to match a feisty garage rock/garage punk sound of Le Butcherettes with an energetic post punk of Swedish INVSN. The two bands share an incredible passion for playing live and a great amount of energy that characterizes their music. At the turn of June and July, Le Butcherettes and INVSN embarked on a tour in Europe, and on 1st July they played at Warsaw club Pogłos. It was a sizzling Monday, and there was a hail in Warsaw erlier that day. One could say that such disturbance was a promise of unique concert impressions. That is, if one believes in cosmos’ disposition. A promise fulfilled.
The band played in Poland for the first time. Some people from the audience had been dreaming of the concert for a long time, others had already seen the band for a few times, for example in Berlin or London. One could not complain about waiting in line to get inside, because the majority of people showed up 20-15 minutes before the approximate starting hour. As surprising as it was, it enabled some of the fans to stand right in front of the stage. The club was a relatively small venue with a climatic lighting and a stage that seemed almost too tiny for the band. But Le Butcherettes often play in such small venues. It surely gave a feeling of experiencing something special or unique, and brought the garage rock/punk essense of the band’s music out. In addition, Teri Gender Bender’s and Riko Rodríguez-López’ stands for synths and keys were adorned with a red, glittery fabric – a usual decoration to be seen on bi/MENTAL tour.
Could 15 minutes be called a delay? After all, the hours stated by the organizers were just approximate. One could feel the anticipation among the audience. Le Butcherettes went on stage and started playing Witchless C Spot with a longer intro. When Teri Gender Bender made contact with the audience, she spoke, gesturing, about her parents mostly, with a voice full of emotions. She once received a call from her mother saying that her father was in hospital. Almost everything she told was in Spanish. Maybe it wasn’t clear for non-Spanish speakers, but the message was heard in her tone and expression. The sound’s intensity, its rawness and vibrancy was impressive. Teri Gender Bender’ talent and onstage charisma were electric. When performing, she moved and danced to the rhythm in a quite unusual manner. It seemed as if she was letting all of the wildness inside her roam free, or was lettting go of everything that suppressed her. The rest of the band – skilled and experienced musicians – played with a great feeling and were on their mettle, allowing the raw garage punk/garage rock energy to take control of the audience.
Intrestingly enough, Le Butcherettes played only 5 songs from their new album: spider/WAVES, struggle/STRUGGLE, strong/ENOUGH, la/SANDÍA and mother/HOLDS. Fantastic and vibrant sound filled the room. How great these songs sounded live! All of the other songs (like Burn the Scab, La Uva or The Leibniz Language), were from the band’s previous records, which was quite a surprise for the fans,. But as the band played such a diversed setlist, people were very much pleased. And the musicians finally had the opportunity to play some older songs in front of the Polish audience. Altogether, the band played twelve effervescent and loud songs. As the concert progressed, more and more people seemed to dance to the rhythm and the room got stuffy. The exhaustion was visible among the band members – it must have been even more stuffy on stage – but they showed a passion for playing and one could tell how they love doing what they do just by looking at their faces. When the band played Dress Off, the vocalist signaled the people that it’s their moment to sing. Although not many people understood that, those who did, sang loud. There was no front of stage barriers in the club, and it created a great feeling of being close to the band. Natural perversity of inanimate objects prevented Teri Gender Bender from going off the stage at one point – the microphone’s cable got entangled between Marfred Rodríguez-López’s feet. Later the vocalist tried once more, and she successfully went off the stage to perform among some excited fans. She sang there for a while, moving and jumping the rhythm in a seemingly chaotic manner. Such a wonderful immediacy.
Ater playing mother/HOLDS, the exhausted but satisfied musician thanked the audience and said that the band was very happy to be opening for such an excellent band as INVSN. Le Butcherettes played an amazing show. One can only hope that they will come back to Poland someday.
A distinctive bass line, a rhythm rather typical to post-punk, and a characteristic deep vocals of Dennis Lyxzén. Although it’s clear what inspired INVSN (for example Joy Division, early songs by The Cure), the band was able to convert these inspirations into an intresting and engaging sound. Maybe it’s because of how energetic and climatic their songs are. And such energy was visible when the band played live. There were people among the audience who never listened to the band or listened to them for the first time on the very day of the gig. Later some people claimed to be surprised in a positive way, said good things about the overall atmosphere of the event and praised how the sound of the two bands who, apparently to them have not much in common, found a common ground.
The band’s setlist consisted of songs from their three albums, for example Deconstruct Hits, Valentine’s Day, Down in the Shadows or Love – Lana Del Rey’s cover which they recorded for their EP Forever Rejected. When introducing the song Immer Zu, Lyxzén drew attention to harmul effects of patriarchy. The messages in their lyrics are not too straightforward, generalized or exaggerated – rather they are clear and delivered on point. Seeing the vocalist jumping and dancing in a seemingly chaotic manner, lost in the music, left people in awe. He must have felt the heat when he jumped moved like that, all dressed in a shirt and jacket. He later took of the jacket and unclasped the shirt. And other band members? They excellent performance added much to the strange, cold atmosphere of post-punk. People really got into the spirit of the music, the solid sound and vibrancy. All in all, INVSN’ music was created to be played live, to experience the energy.
On one July evening, Le Butcherettes and INVSN played in Warsaw club Pogłos. They performed songs full of raw energy that filled the room, leaving people amazed by all of the skilled musicians’ charisma. It was an evening worth remembering.