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Eat the Party!

Review by Simon Elliot (Jan 2011)

LIVE @ The Brass Monkey, Hastings 8th Jan, 2011.

Eat the Party

Eat the Party

In a week of solar eclipses and meteor showers, the all important question is: what shines brighter than attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion? Hastings’ very own Eat The Party have all the answers, and this goes far beyond the suavely shimmering footwear of Mister Del Guapo. They look good. ETP don’t do T-shirt-n-jeans indifference.

They are immaculate as a matter of course. Del’s suit is shiny-shiny, his shoes glitter, his hair is severe, and there is always a tie. The boy means business. Laura has been vacuum-sealed into her little black dress. She is porcelain of complexion and lithe of limb. The kind of girl who glides where angels fear to tread. The house lights fade and the stage is bathed in dusk-like electric blue.

The sound is magnificent. The drums and the bass rumble menacingly through the room but don’t bounce around noisily, or dissolve in distortion. The guitar is full-bodied and crystal clear, yet doesn’t overwhelm or screech. The vocals begin a shade thinner than ideal, but warm up as the first number progresses and remain full and convincing from that point onwards. As to comparisons (for those that haven’t yet had the pleasure) ETP locate themselves somewhere in the solar system of Blondie, New Order, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Goldfrapp.

They’re original and they know it, but they’re not up-themselves about it, or trying too hard to look as if they’re not trying too hard, which is very refreshing. As the set unfolds, the cast warm to their roles and proceedings move up a gear. Del’s gestures grow bolder and flashier; the poses modulate between New Wave angularity and Cock Rock depending on what he is playing. He slices swathes from the night air with his trusty Telecaster to mark time and snaps his head from left to right to mark transitions. Laura, rooted to the spot and gyrating coyly to begin with, takes her cue from Del and racks up the drama.

While ETPs previous singer had growled and strutted, Laura purrs and strikes dramatic attitudes. Sophistication has usurped the feral, theatricality replaced the laissez-faire. The debutante makes good and the voice grows in conviction and self-assurance after every round of applause. This is a tighter, purer and altogether more dashing outing that of the summer. And something in Del’s swagger after the show makes me wonder if this incarnation of ETP isn’t actually far closer to his original vision for the band than the previous one? We shall have to wait and see…

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