It’s a long way from LA to Cardiff, but Drab Majesty lit up a miserable Wednesday night in the Principality with a spellbinding performance at The Moon. Visually striking dressed in white leather jackets, full face paint, silver wigs and jet black wraparound shades, the theatrical presentation captivated a curious audience drawn primarily from the cities underground scene. Comprising layer upon layer of electronica with reverb-drenched guitar, haunting vocals and a relentless backing track of Doktor Avalanche- inspired drum patterns, Drab Majesty’s sonic sound transcends comparison. For sure, references to early 4AD and Mute artists have a touch of validity, but the Drab Majesty concept commits to the future as opposed to any retro throwback.
Created by Andrew Clinco, a seasoned drummer with various bands, Drab Majesty represents his Deb DeMure “androgynous alter-ego”. Accompanied by Mona D on synths, the hour-long set drew primarily from their recent Demonstration album release and career-spanning compilation, Completely Careless, both on the excellent Dais record label. Stand out tracks I recognised were 39 By Design and The Foyer, although the whole performance ebbed and flowed as one shimmering electro soundtrack that transfixed the wide-eyed crowd.
Earlier, Dune Messiah from Copenhagen supported with a set of which I can only describe as ‘indie/country/rock’. Equally striking, the band has a growing following on the back of their ‘The Iron Oak’ and debut self-titled albums. Not quite my thing although worthy enough, I drifted over to the merch stall and bought a cracking silkscreened tour poster and, somewhat optimistically, a medium-sized t-shirt which might have to wait to get a public airing.
An uplifting characteristic of intimate indie gigs like these is the friendliness of the crowd. Thrilled to meet Alice who gave Paul and I a copy of her New Haunts cd and divulged that The Sisters of Mercy is her favourite band; also, massive thanks to photographer Kamil Jontas who has contributed numerous images to this post. Respect to the promoters from Chain of Flowers who put on a brilliant night, which ended with two fifty-something year old blokes taking selfies with the bands and getting their posters signed….