Sunday, 31 July 2016

Live review: Little BIG @ Gagarin, Tel Aviv [28th July 2016]

Once again,  I have taken myself along to a show for an act whom I previously was not really familiar with at all but thought could be interesting. Having checked out some songs of theirs already, I thought I'd give Russian party band, Little BIG a try. 

  Upon entering Gagarin, I notice a slight change in the place. Not only have they moved the bar to the other side of the room but they actually knocked a wall down to make more space for both the bar and actual floor space. There even seems to be a door or 2 on this side of the room which were not there before, so they've done some good renovations since I was last here. When speaking to someone I recognise from other shows, I find out that the event started earlier than I was lead to believe, thus missing opening act Shitty CT, a peculiar band from Akko, North Israel, that mix punk, rap metal and electronica. They are not everyone's cup of tea, especially on the punk scene, but I personally really like the style. Apparently, tonight was a special sort of electronic set as opposed to full live band, but it's still such a shame I missed them and I can only apologise.

  In the lead up to the main event, there is a mixture of drum n bass, edm, hip hop and even ska playing over the speakers. Whereas normally people would just be standing around talking in between bands, there is already a party atmosphere going on, as groups of friends and couples are dancing away. Even I can't help but nod my head and tap my feet a bit. It is interesting to see that there's a mixture of people out tonight, including metalheads, street punks and some proper ravers in bright coloured skimpy clothing. Music really does unite all sorts of people... 

  Eventually, the warm up music dies down and a guy in sunglasses comes on stage and you just know he's got to be with the act. Who wears sunglasses indoors? This turns out to be the band's DJ, Sergey "Gokk" Makarov, as he takes his place behind the decks. He is then followed by the tattooed and scary looking Ilya (Prusikin) and Olympiya (Ivleva), who is basically the "little" in Little BIG. They start the show off with latest album Funeral Rave's opening track, To Party. This is the perfect song to get things going, as its pounding techno beat and Olympiya's sweet vocals (although I can't say for certain how much of it was live) make a great combination for a proper rave anthem. The crowd is already jumping and the atmosphere is electric.

  As the show goes on, the crowd gets treated to tracks from the band's debut album, such as With Russia From Love, We Will Push The Button and Pump It, all getting the crowd equally as hyper as the next. After a while, I think the band begin to realise that a majority of the venue is Russian, or at least Russian speaking, as they start shouting out things I don't understand that get a huge response from the room. This is kind of cool, as it must make both the band and the audience more comfortable. As well as the Russian, I start to hear something that I was so certain was Mr Plough (Simpsons, anyone?) but turned out to be a chant for band member Mr Clown, who then comes from the side entrance to the stage. Not only is he in clown makeup and a clown wig, but he is wearing a ice hockey shirt with his name on the back. This instantly makes me think of Juggalo acts like Insane Clown Posse, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. This addition to the show takes things up a level. Mr Clown really connects with the crowd, speaking mostly in Russian, and just brings this energy which we didn't even realise was missing. He's closely followed by newest live band member Sofia (or Sonya?), who adds to the sexiness that Olympiya had already brought to the stage, wearing tight spandex and gyrating about the stage. A "mosh pit" actually erupts as the song Dead Unicorns gets underway. This song, along with the next song, Fucking Asshole, again brought to mind the Juggalo rap genre. Whereas the former song has violent lyrical content and a darker electronic vibe, the latter relies on a circus theme-style loop while rapping obscenities. Both songs are ridiculously memorable and possibly the highlight of the show for me, along with the infectious Life In Da Trash and the anthemic Every Day I'm Drinking, which got people throwing their arms and legs all over the place. 

  Little BIG are basically the result of Die Antwoord and Scooter having a baby and giving it up for adoption to a poor Russian family. It's fist pumping party music with some pretty silly lyrics ("My dick is big. My dick is very big"). Their live show, at least tonight, is simple, with no backdrop or special effects or anything. They don't need it and we, the audience, certainly didn't need it to have a good time. All band members are engaging and full of energy, even Sergey, who jumps on the table of his decks now and again. He seemed to be mostly pressing play and throwing in the odd klaxon sound most of the show, so it was good to see him actually joining in on the fun. It could very well be that most of the crowd are drunk and/or high which adds to the high octane reception but as a sober viewer, I was still smiling from beginning to end and there was never a dull moment. 

All photos come courtesy of Tom Hooliganov 


No comments:

Post a Comment