About a month ago we went to a rather enjoyable night in Sheffield self deprecatingly titled Krapfest. This seems to be a yearly thing by Sheffield electropop covers act Krapwerk. We were initially at little skeptical about going to see a covers band as we feel acts should concentrate on writing their own music rather than relying on successes from other people’s music. But hey it was a free event and another band we rather like called The Silent Age were playing so why not?
Krapwerk managed to endear themselves to us by, in many ways, entirely living up to their name. They are a bit ‘krap’ but that is the whole charm they have. They are clearly just having a bit of fun in a kind of almost professionally amateurish way, if that makes any sense. The slight awkwardness of some of the stage performance and sometimes possibly too long periods of wittering between songs was utterly charming. It was geekiness of the highest order, a championing of geek, an utter indulgence of geek, a glorification, a worship of geek, a proud proclamation of geek and that’s where it really succeeds, particularly when the audience is encouraged to do their best robot dance to the eponymous track and is rewarded with a biggest geek in the room badge (or similarly titled award, we forget the precise wording). It’s important that it is ok to be this, just as much as it is to be the flamboyant. To say everyone is ok no matter what.
Another significant aspect is that they manage to play almost everything live, admittedly it seems through a laptop rather than so much the keyboards themselves, which is quite a lot more interesting than watching Kraftwerk check their emails whilst a 3D movie plays behind them. It was actually live music and that is something of which they can definitely be proud.
Tremendous fun evening and here’s some videos of them for you to enjoy
The Silent Age
The Silent Age had previously caught our attention with their electro goth sound having played with Vile Electrodes in Sheffield in about 2009. Such great dark synthing in the form of the likes of Endless Parade and Fractured Time, presented with a front man embodying all that you would think of with goth: the hat, the crushed velvet, long black hair.. very much your Eldritch/Hussey type. They’ve been quiet for a few years and had trouble with band members having to leave due to work obligations and also taking time to write and record a new album but now they seem back on the scene properly once again.
We can say that we possibly find them even better than before though they are moving away a little from the electronics now and more into the post punk/goth territory. The synths are still there but on backing track whilst guitars are used exclusively on stage. That delightful chorused guitar post-punk sound is handled supremely well and the songs compositions are really sounding better than ever.
We really hope recorded versions appear soon.