Gig Review: Meatbodies + Arrows of Love @ Dalston Birthdays – 03/03/2015


A support act you need to catch while there’s still standing room and a headliner that fills the floor entirely…


So here we are at Dalston Birthdays, looking forward to an evening of grungey, slacker rock. However, clearly nobody has informed support act Arrows Of Love of our preconceptions.

IMG_3530 There is not a hint of the slacker about this band. They are ROCK ‘N’ ROLL writ large, and the great thing about it is that they make it look completely effortless. The bass player drinks wine out of the bottle and nonchalantly leans against her speaker stack as she plays. She is that cool!!!

Sadly there are criminally few people present to see this spectacle. So few in fact, that the band take it in turns to wander off the stage and watch themselves from out front.

There is undoubtedly a hint of grunge in their music, but there are also occasional hints of the blues and Sabbath too and forays (especially with the un-named new song that they play) into math rock territory. However, above all of these influences, their tunes stand tall. Their set ends with much guitar abuse and feedback, and we’re then ready for Meatbodies. IMG_3536


Meatbodies essentially resemble a heavier Dinosaur Jr. There is a definite Ty Segall comparison as this is heavy psychedelia.

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(You snooze you lose… your photo spot!)
There are distorted slacker riffs which are reminiscent of The Small Faces’ Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, but with tapping. However, Meatbodies are a long way from being a one-trick pony – they play fast too! The Wild Thing riff gets recycled a couple of times, which is by no means a bad thing.

In many ways this is what heavy metal used to be forty-plus years ago. Before the genre was taken over by record company marketing men and almost sub-genred out of existence. Meatbodies somehow manage to be slick without losing their rough edges, which is quite an achievement. All in all a good gig, but somehow I don’t think it will be long before Arrows Of Love will be headlining here, and bigger places too.

Mark Kelly