I WAS THERE: The Big Pink Unveil Live Show At Mercury Lounge Alongside Patrick Wolf’s Sister and Members of Sunn O))), Guapo and Pre

[Text/Photos by Andrew Parks]

“They sound off,” s/t‘s managing editor wrote in a text message, “they” meaning the Big Pink. “You don’t agree? I’m ready to leave. This is Jesu with bad vocals.”

Um, not quite. Look, last night’s stateside premiere of the Big Pink had its moments, from a choice Smashing Pumpkins cover few people noticed (“Mayonaise“) to the synth shards and noisy nail-bombs that backed up the band’s self-proclaimed love of “digital hardcore and the narcotic effects of blessed out electronic music.”And to be honest, that was enough for now. After all, the band’s free Mercury Lounge show was simply meant as a buzz-stirring break from their 4AD-funded Electric Lady sessions. Beyond that, it’s important to note that the Big Pink’s creative core is really just two multi-instrumentalists: Milo Cordell–the owner of Merok Records (an early supporter of Klaxons, Crystal Castles and more) and son of noted ’60s producer Denny Cordell–and Robbie Furze, a founding member of Panic DHH and former guitarist for Atari Teenage Riot frontman (and Digital Hardcore Recordings co-founder) Alec Empire.

From the sound of the duo’s 7-inches, “Velvet,” “Too Young To Love” and the soon-to-be-released “Stop the World,” it seems like their carefully-layered sound would get lost in translation outside of a studio. At least for now.  It’s not like Cordell and Furze have a bunch of amateurs backing them up. Quite the contrary, as their full lineup includes Pre drummer Akiko Matsuura, Guapo multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (who also plays with Stephen O’Malley in Sunn O))) and Æthenor), engineer Al O’Connell (Klaxons, The Rapture) and Patrick Wolf‘s sister (Jo Apps, who’s recorded for Planet Mu and worked on Simian Mobile Disco‘s visuals). That’s a hell of a lot of credibility crammed into a simple live show. And with that in mind, I’d be shocked if the Big Pink’s studio record turns out to be the train wreck many Mercury Lounge know-it-alls are now expecting, mostly due to the venue’s tinny sound when it comes to melodramatic, strobe-doused shows like this.

If nothing else, the NME now has a band they can (incorrectly) call “the next Kasabian.”