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Live review...
Skibunny, Not Squares
On paper, this isn't what you want on a wet, sunday evening. It's like being beaten senseless by a drunk and volatile Franz Ferdinand (the band, not the man), after accidentally slagging off their collective mothers, down a back alley.

A strange concept, isn't it? Well, we're watching Not Squares, a strange band. They make pop music, but it's brutal and unforgiving. They take liberties, but you'll thank them for doing so.

'I, You, Us, It' and 'You're Still Drunk' have strangely catchy, memorably hooks, buried in sleaze and nasty riffage. Does this sound like a bad review? It shouldn't, as Not Squares are great.

'Yeah' in particular, a wonky bass monstrosity with the occasional smack in the face, demands your attention and makes you fell happy handing over everything you own. We'll regret this in the morning.

A little variation on those keyboard sounds would be good and some of their songs are slightly indulgent workouts, but hey, whatever gets the kids moving.

Given the extreme, ludicrous funtimes that Skibunny have given us over the years as a DJing duo, the music they make as a band is surprisingly dark. All three are dressed in black and those visuals are a little bleak. But, once again, the darkness is okay because the performance is just that good.

Tanya looks amazing, staring into nowhere. Mark is alongside her, barely controlling his guitar, while new drummer Christine is the most welcome addition since United stole King Eric in November 1992.

'Up Down' stands out, a scuzzy, chunky march that sounds like nothing else in this city. 'Aahooh' shouldn't necessarily work live, with those programmed break-beats and that hard-to-nail vocal refrain. But tonight it is absolutely beautiful, genuinely engaging. Those karaoke-style visuals help, but whatever it is, we're all staring at Skibunny by the chorus, absolutely locked in.

'Remote Control', all cheeky and full of fizz, is the light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing tonight is what you'd expect, but who doesn't enjoy a pleasant surprise.

Funtimes are here, after all.


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Gig Details
Venue: Speakeasy, QUBSU
Location: Belfast
Date: 19/10/2008

Related Links
+ Skibunny (myspace)
+ Not Squares (myspace)