Friday, January 01, 2010
Tonight's New Year's Eve treat was a trip to the Hope and Anchor to see The Home Office.
Nadya was a little drummer girl in dark blue sparkly knee-length boots and a dirndl dress that Ari Upp bought her in Stuttgart, with an army hat perched on her head to match that of her partner-in-guitars Peter.
A lone rockabilly stood amongst the punters, and a girl with what appeared to be a carrier bag of breadcrumbs. Was she planning on feeding the ducks?
First up was Domestic Animals, performed in front of a film of static traffic jams and Japanese dolls; it sort of reminded me of the Flying Lizards by way of Daniel Miller. This was catchy!
As a duo they are quirky to look at: Nadya has Audrey Hepburn's cheekbones and childlike aura, whereas Peter has a serious and committed air. Peter looks a little like a German film star, and probably ought to be in black and white. Their humour is sideways and they are exceptionally well-rehearsed, which makes them entertaining to watch. There used to be a lot of little bands like this in the 1980s and they were a joy to see.
I think my favourite song was Nadya's hypnotic Russian-language song over an Adrian Sherwood backing track, which fitted surprisingly well into their light electronica sound.
I also enjoyed It's Not Over, which featured unison singing, All About Love and Artschool, which cocked a subtle snook at Kraftwerk. Last (for me, anyway, because I wanted to avoid the drunks) was a Metropolis-inspired song about work: 'nine till nine to five, five to nine till five', went the lyrics, and the pair jerked like well-oiled machines that finally went wrong at the end of the song. Very funny, deadpanned and sinister!
They are charming and fun, and all of their songs are good. And they are not a replica of anybody else, either, which is pretty hard in this day and age.