Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Nation of Shopkeepers: Chapel Club, Rent Boys, Minnaars





Nation of Shopkeepers, previously known as the Courtyard is a venue in Leeds that hosted the gig for Chapel Club on April 17th 2010.

Chapel Club were supported by 2 bands. First Leicester's Minnaars took to the stage & we didn't intend to watch them as we were too busy propping up the bar with our Havana Club & Ginger Beers. The venue had an impressive array of drinks, Brooklyn Lager & Flying Dog pale ale to name the ones I specifically noticed and have been unable to buy anywhere other than a wholesalers. However, Minnaars seemed to have some magnetic quality that dragged us toward the stage and captivated us for the full set. A member of the band self effacingly commented that they 'sound like Foals but in a working mans club'. They did indeed sound like Foals and Bloc Party and White Lies with a bit of Lady Gaga's electronica sprinkled over the top for good measure. They were full of charisma and the sound was crystal clear and althought the set was concise, our attention was owned until they packed their bags and mingled with the crowd. My wife and accomplice approached the singer to ask what they were called as they failed to mention it during the set. When she came back she said "I think their called 'the Manners' but he said it really posh like 'The mannerrrrs'. She also told him she loved him & then found out from another member of the band that it's the dutch word for lovers and it's spelt M.I.N.N.A.A.R.S.

Next up, a skinny little 12 year old boy (he wasn't but he sure looked it) appeared with an innapropriately blacked-up face behind a keyboard and was then joined by more unwholesome characters. The singer took to the stage, constantly running his fingers through his flowing locks to reveal a face covered in a combination of shocking pink blusher and vaseline. The noise that then proceeded to blast from the speakers was indescribable babble and each indestinguishable lyric was delivered with a limp wrist and a groan like he'd forgotten the last word of each line. These were called 'RENT BOYS' and we knew that because the singer had been busy decorating the back of his jacket with Gem Magic. I can't describe Rent Boys as anything other than awful. I would never dream of listening to their music in the comfort of my own home and it would ruin my solitary dog walks with my iPod. But if Rent Boys were playing locally, I would drop everything to see them again and pay good money to do so. Rent Boys would be perfectly at home on the set of a John Waters film. Infact they could BE a John Waters film and they would be thoroughly entertaining and a damn site better than A Dirty Shame (2004).

When Chapel Club wandered onto the stage in what looked like a Burtons wardrobe the fun was over. They began with their brilliant 'Surfacing' and peaked too soon. They had no stage presence and zero charisma. 'O Maybe I' their first release was okay and something to hum along to but we'd had so much fun watching the support that we had exhausted ourselves and the headliners acted as nothing more than a comedown. I spent the majority of their set reading the underage girls text messages who stood in front of me. One was from Daddy who wanted to know what time she wanted picking up and one was from a friend saying 'Where's Chapel Club?' Exactly, they are radio friendly but not so audience friendly.

As a venue Nation of Shopkeepers was intimate, with a friendly crowd and a brilliant quality of sound and the drinks were much cheaper than expected. I can't wait to go back.



above is Minnaars at Reading last year. The video really doesn't do the band justice.

Here's the Myspace's

Minnaars
Rent Boys
Chapel Club

Nation of Shopkeepers Site

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