Candy Panic Attack, Jean Genet

Miss Fliss 25/07/2009

Candy Panic Attack's do-it-yourself old school punk chords (the easy, up-and-down-with-yer-finger kind) have got a lot of charm just like the persons contained in the band. There's innocence and fun. We get told corny in between song jokes with bad puns, apologies for ripping off a Damned song, and talking to the crowd with a sense of self-awareness and humanness in place of the burnt bridge that pretension and poses would present.

Candy Panic Attack make pretty-punk-pop mixed with scruffy lo-fi of the DIY/vinyl-only variety. I love how singer/guiatrist Mina sings and talks with an old- school Cockney accent, the one that's being so sadly fazed out, all crisp and cutting, but with her voice somehow so silky it half smoothes it out. And there's a Raincoats/Slits angle to her singing too. The song where Mina screams in exaggerated cartoon fashion after singing that the person that broke her heart is gonna die is a highlight.

Best song of all is a number much slower than the frantic punk that leads to scree with its energy; a song called Departure that has such a simple subtle little toot on the melodica that there's an edge of melancholic beauty abound - the kind that quietly creeps in as if it knows very well it's uncool but here it is anyway, as honest as letting tears roll down your face in public. The song rolls along like the train Mina's singing about. Her voice is really important here, just so raw but elegant and sad. It's gentle and un-punk, such a sweet little song, and so much proof that simpicity beats over-egging the pudding every time.

This was a gig in support of 56a Infoshop - a place you need to know about if your interest is at all sparked by radical politics, fanzines, food co-ops, and the like. It's a wonderful little social centre tucked away in South East London. Entirely volunteer-run, they do things like film nights, vegan food, bike workshops, community events and skills shares, all excellent activity. Funds from this gig went to the shop, and there were also fanzines galore on sale at the gig and an atmosphere of people committed to doing and changing things. There were other bands but I didn't catch them, but those bands included Jean Jenet, Chaps, Husbands, just to give them a mention. And the day after this at Infoshop were workshops, a vegan breakfast, fanzine activity, bike skills, and loads of other stuff, only I was too ill to go. But there's always stuff going on and when I'm back in London, I'll be returning regularly.

Candy Panic Attack Myspace

56a InfoShop website