The Soapgirls – Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes – 4th June 2016

First up tonight were local Milton Keynes band False Idol.  They’re a young band and do a set based mainly on their own material but also including two covers – “Take me to Church” (Hozier) and “The Kill” (30 Seconds to Mars).  They’re a decent opener with a hard rock/pop punk sound, and seem pretty good although I wasn’t completely won over by the vocals.  They do a good job though – performing in front of a tiny audience isn’t easy.

The Soapgirls are a South African duo, although they now have a drummer with them, which I think was a wise choice. Camille plays bass and sings, while Naomie plays guitar and does backing vocals.

I’d come to the gig not having heard either of the bands before, but I’d heard some good reports about The SoapGirls and as I had a free night I thought I’d check out the bands rather than sit at home.  I’m very glad I did – The SoapGirls were excellent.  It just shows it’s always worth checking out local gigs as you can find some great bands that way, and since the night cost me under a tenner it’s hardly expensive.

There’s a very strong old-school punk vibe as they set out to shock and offend, but above all to entertain and have fun.  That punk feel is there in the music too, with its raw edge.  They’re big on audience participation too – they got one guy up on stage to drink their voodoo cocktail (which certainly turned the victim into a zombie by the end of the night as he was barely able to stand upright), Camille asked for a volunteer to spit on Naomie and when no volunteer was forthcoming, did it herself.  When they asked for a volunteer to spray champagne eveywhere, an audience member in a wheelchair climbed up on stage to do it, supporting himself on crutches, but the most memorable bit of audience participation was when they got someone on stage, Camille sucked an eye out of a fish then told him he had to suck the other one out (and swallow it) – definitely not your everyday gig.

Their stage outfits are fairly skimpy and get people’s attention, and it’s not clear whether they wear them in an attempt to shock, to get attention, or they’re just wearing them because they feel like it.  My view is they’re trying to shock and also get attention for the band – these days there are so many bands trying to get our attention that it’s often hard for an act to stand out.  Sadly some people will see photos and assume they’re trying to make up for lack of musical talent, but based on what I heard tonight that’s certainly not the case – these girls really do know how to play.

A great gig, and I look forward to seeing The SoapGirls again in the future.

[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157669359106655″ size=”z” count=”100″]

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.