Secondsmile, Cutting Pink with Knives, William

Tom Blackburn 29/11/2007

Accurately billed as 'a night of noise, melody and rocking the fuck out', online zine Subba-cultcha wasted no time in assembling a veritably stellar line-up of cult noiseniks to play this, their inaugural club night.

Getting things underway, eventually, were Lewisham indie-rock trio William. From the moment they shuffle onto the stage, they're a kind of organised shambles, in the best possible way. Boasting instantly infectious melodies, William's set is a memorable and melodic start to the evening's entertainment.

Nestled somewhere between Pavement's ramshackle slacker rock and the Pixies' demented punk, William have been making a good name for themselves over the last few months and it's easy to see why - coming across as quite an affable bunch on stage, the band are clearly enjoying themselves and with tunes as good as theirs, so they should.

To emphasise the eclectic nature of the night's line-up, William's sunny indie-rock is followed by spazz-punk lunatics Cutting Pink with Knives, who live up to their fearsome live rep with a frenzied but tight performance of short blasts of frantic grindcore.

Introducing the set by mock-apologetically explaining why P Diddy isn't present, frontman Chris Abitbol's opening gambit is to clamber up onto the balcony and smash some unsuspecting punter's pint with his hand, spending the rest of the set bleeding profusely from the resulting gash.

Other people might take it a bit easier after that, but no. He hurtles around the Good Ship's unusual pit area, berating the crowd for being 'pussies' and inviting people to join him. Unsurprisingly, there aren't too many takers, but those observers who've retreated to the relative safety of the balcony area are riveted by the band's performance.

And Cutting Pink with Knives aren't just a great visual spectacle. From the word go they're a precise, high-octane assault of furious noise, but for all the cacophony, surprisingly danceable - there's a clear method behind the madness, and that is to get you to, well, rock the fuck out. Impressive.

After the raging whirlwind that was the previous set, Dorset post-hardcore crew and tonight's headliners Secondsmile take over. Brutally powerful but engagingly tuneful, the quintet have evolved into an accomplished and confident live band. 'Our Great and Secret Show' is an obvious highlight of tonight's set, with its king-sized riffs and strained, sincere vocals courtesy of Ross Smethwick.

The band spend of most of their time between songs wondering how they're going to get back into their van having somehow locked themselves out of it, but their worries don't overshadow their performance. Well-drilled and passionate, Secondsmile are definitely on an upward trajectory and tonight bodes well for the follow-up to their 2006 debut LP, Walk Into the Light and Reach for the Sky.

Some club nights take a while to come into their own, no such worries for Subba-culcha - tonight's gig is a definite winner. More of this, please.