Sahara Hotnights with Ikara Colt and Washdown at Alley Katz in Richmond, VA - 3/3/03
It was cute young band night at Alley Katz on Monday, with Tampa, Floridas Washdown, London, Englands Ikara Colt, and somewhere in Swedens Sahara Hotnights, bringing the total combined ages of all three bands to something like 50. The crowd was also a lot younger than Im used to, but all-ages shows rock for crotchety old losers like me, what with the bands actually starting on time and my getting home in time to get a good nights sleep before the next day of work. So we get there at 8:00, an hour after the doors open, chat with all our local scenester buddies for a few minutes, and then the first band takes the stage.
The Washdown was alright. I was worried at first, because theyve got that whole post-post-punk-and-right-back-to-the-ironic-co-opting-of-rock thing going on, but they kept the stadium poses to a minimum. The guitarist/back-up singers voice was a lot more interesting than the lead singer dudes voice, but since the latter was obviously sick, Ill give him the benefit of the doubt. The guitar parts were the best, all leads and no chords, edging into occasional dissonance. In terms of cuteness, I give them a 4 out of 10. The lead singer had floppy hair and a white belt, and the guitarist was a Picciotto-esque tiny indie rock guy.
Ikara Colt stole the show. They are British, and they look like the cast of a Young Ones rip-off show, with their loutish punk bass player, foppish dandy of a drummer, long-banged rock star singer, and polite and cheerful blonde guitarist. When they first started playing, I thought, Oh, theyre ok, but nothing special, pretty straightforward art-punk with big slashing chords and monotone sarcastic vocals, kind of Stooges, but also kind of grunge, but then they just keep getting louder and louder and louder and louder and louder and louder and louder. By the end, they are just plain-out rocking. They get an 8 out of 10 on the cuteness scale, since theyve got something for everybody. And theyre European.
Sahara Hotnights are Swedish, and they sound like you would expect a band from Sweden to sound: clean, efficient, and satisfactory. This female foursome adds a classic rock swagger to their garage punk stomping, the result sounding much like the more recent Donnas albums. They are extremely tight, and they have funny accents. They sounded like their CD. I would have liked them more if Ikara Colt had not just exploded my head. Also Im old, and my back was starting to hurt from standing up too much, so I had to go sit in the back of the club. In what will probably be a very unpopular decision, Im going to have to give them a 5 out of 10 for cuteness. They are attractive, but theres a creepy jailbait thing going on as well. I mean, theyre all like 20 years old at least, but they look like theyre 14. Oh well, as my friend Ryan used to say, Whatever creams your Twinkie.
Music by Ikara Colt can be purchased at
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