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Presidents of the USA
Live review...
PUSA, Electic Eel Shock, Kid Carpet
Well, it was never going to be a dull evening with a line-up like that, was it? First to the stage was the one and only Kid Carpet. Sounding something like an anarchic hardcore dance Mike Skinner, he employs samples ranging from Van Halen to what we can only assume was Elmo, and plays on Fisher Price instruments and the Casio my brother got for Christmas in 1989. If you're thinking that sounds a little on the dodgy side,we wouldn't blame you. Yet somehow he makes it work. A hyperactive, creative and insane little ball of energy, you will either love him or hate him, but I defy you to be bored.

Main support act Electric Eel Shock really should have had their own headline slot, but packing yet another bonkers, hilarious, kinetic frenzy into the evening worked pretty well. The tiny Japanese rockers had the crowd eating unashamedly out of the palm of their hands from the get-go and neither the band nor the audience seemed prepared to let each other go by the end.

As always, the Presidents didn't disappoint. If only the actual Presidents of America were anywhere near this reliably awesome, we'd all be a lot better off. It's hard to think of a band that could possibly be more fun than PUSA. Tunes ridiculously catchy, absurd and silly, it's almost a contest between these guys and the crowd to see who's having more fun. Completely on form as always, their goofy punk rock pop songs blistered out one after another, each more satisfying than the last. While pretty much any song from their debut album is going to get the biggest response, there's little between those classics of yore and more recent favourites "Love Everybody", "Mixed Up S.O.B.", "Some Postman" and "Ladybug" in either quality or crowd reaction.

The nice thing about seeing the Presidents live is that while their thing is harebrained, goofy songs, they seem to take a pretty considered and appreciative approach to their shows. They're always pitch perfect, always on fire, always giving 110% to create one of the best party atmospheres you could ask for from a gig (which tonight extended to giving the audience swigs from a bottle of whiskey whilst they fixed an amp. That's some good hostin'). In a nutshell - if you haven't seen the band before, sort it out.

Orla Graham

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Gig Details
Venue: Spring and Airbrake
Location: Belfast
Date: 25/4/2008

Related Links
+ Electric Eel Shock
+ Kid Carpet