Who: Telekinesis! and The Rosebuds Where: Brixton Windmill, London When: 7th October Band Websites: Telekinesis The Rosebuds I should start this with some context... By the time I got to the Windmill on Thursday, I did not really want to be there. After leaving the office I trudged the 10 minute walk to Kings X to take the Victoria line down to Brixton during which the heavens opened meaning I was somewhat soggy by the time I got south of the river. To make things worse, I met up with a few pals beforehand who were heading to the Academy and were all (understandably) rather excited that they were getting to take in the Pixies doing 'Doolittle'... I was jealous... Anyway in a bit of a mood, I trumped my way up Brixton Hill (still in the pouring rain) to the Windmill and when I got to the venue I was still not really in the best of spirits. However (thankfully) all this changed within a few minutes. Firstly, the Windmill is a rather terrific little venue/boozer (despite having a guard dog keeping watch from the roof earlier in the day!!) so a pint in hand helped soften my mood. image credit: http://flyingtigersound.tumblr.com/ Given that both bands are on the ever reliable Merge Records (and the Telekinesis album had been on heavy rotation on the Mack-ipod in the last couple of months) I decided I should at least give them a chance. Almost as soon as The Rosebuds kicked off proceedings I was beginning to buy in to the whole event a lot more. The boy/girl duo from North Carolina essentially busked their way through their set without a mic in site favouring instead to leave the stage setup for the headline act. In a strange way the Raleigh duo appeared almost as an odd optical illusion. On one hand Ivan Rosebud, seemed about 100 feet tall as he sang and played the set using a mini (half-sized) guitar. On the other hand there was Kelly Rosebud - so petite and made to look even smaller by the fact that strapped to her was an absolutely huge sparkly (yet-ornate) accordion that completely dwarfed her further... Their dreamy and sweet songs were the perfect antidote to my previously hostile mood. The set was short and to the point and complete with a series of tracks which saw Ivan try and try and try again to get the reasonably small audience to join with him in the 'la-la-la' choruses. Failing to get too many people on board for either 'Boxcar' or 'Leaves Do Fall' (despite a valiant effort on each occasion) everyone finally gave in and provided backing vocal on the chorus of 'Nice Fox' (a catchy tale about a fox which set up home in his barn back in North Carolina). With the crowd in fine voice all singing along, The Rosebuds closed their set to a rousing reception, and Ivan readied himself for the headline act. Following a quick change-over Ivan Rosebud re-emerged onstage. This time in his guise as Ivan Telekinesis - as he stood in as the temporary bassist for headline act and fellow Merge stablemate Telekineses. As the three piece took to the stage, their affable frontman Michael Lerner opened with an apology... "We're Telekinesis from Seattle, Washington. Sorry, if we're going to be a lot louder than The Rosebuds" and with that there was an explosion of noise as he kicked in with the drums and everyone in the Windmill collectively sat up and took notice. Their jangly indie sound will inevitably draw comparisons to Death Cab For Cutie (especially given that Chris Walla produced their record) but for me there's a bit more of a solo Brendan Benson sound about it, either way it works and it works well. Their set saw them play one new track 'Non-Toxic' but drew heavily on their rather excellent debut LP Telekinesis! with Lerner on drums and vocals throughout. By the time he took a rest from the skins took his place on the mini guitar for 'Rust' and a (surprisingly good) cover of ELO's 'Can't Get It Out Of My Mind' we had already learned a few facts about Mr Lerner. Things I now know about Telekinesis I wouldn't have done had I not gone along... 1. Lerner spent some time in Liverpool which evidently qualified him to be a London tour guide for the rest of the band 2. He likes Marks and Spencer 3. He likes chocolate covered flapjacks 4. He likes Topman - but fears it may be cliched in the UK 5. He likes Waitrose (which caused one guy in the crowd to excrete his pint down the back of someone else) 6. He likes St. Paul's Cathedral 7. He likes Beans on Toast 8. He doesn't like fish and chips - due to previous bad experiences in Liverpool - due mainly to his learning about the existence of the infamous 'Mersey Brown Trout' Anyway... back to the show... Telekinesis' set was at times loud and rocky at times jangly and peppy but always immediately accessible, even if you haven't been obsessing over their album! For me the highlights of the night were the closing two tracks which saw a dazzling version of the oh-so catchy 'Tokyo' and then a blistering 'Coast of Carolina' which sent the crowd home with their ears ringing as loudly as their endorsement of the band. This was an excellent set that will surely see Telekinesis playing larger venues the next time they hit these shores. Probably the most significant thing I can say about this gig was that by the end of the evening I was glad that I had seen this show and had forgotten completely about Frank and Co doing their thing down the road.