My Daughter Looks Like the Milkman – Adam & the Fish-Eyed Poets, 13/11/11

There’s no room in this country for Adam. He & his boys get to do afternoon slots at festivals, get hammered and watch as bigger, worse bands hog crowds and get laid, and slope off the morning after by bus back to Chennai, from whence they sprung. When Bangalore’s rock crowds trade their wallets for a good time, they expect chest-hair, Ibanez solos and knuckleheaded showmanship: Adam & the Fish-Eyed Poets fail to deliver on all counts.

It says something about the state of things that, at events like these, ape-like washouts Indus Creed (when will they go away?) get a light-show and salivating spectators by the thousands while the Fish-Eyeds have to content themselves with the small stage at the other end of the field. Adam’s songs sound like the product of obsessive poring over new wave records, solitary alcoholism and dwelling upon his various miseries, meant for nail-biters and sociopaths, inasmuch as they’re meant for anybody at all: little two minute outbursts in the form of jerking, sparkling, scratchy pop peddled by the most un-rock looking band you can imagine; you can see how the Metallica-watching dullards of the world would miss a trick here and let this slip by unnoticed.

These guys are doing Adam’s third record right now, and if the material from that at the gig was anything to go by, our man has his songwriting act entirely together, this time having his antennas distil the static from some sort of hyperspace between Drums & Wires and the Gang of Four. And, to the great credit of everybody, his band seem perfectly capable of following him into these improbable corners. Their guitar-bass switcheroo pair handle the spikes and jabs comfortably, and the drummer is an incredible little Pete Thomas-like holy terror. Their inexperience with gigs – they haven’t been together long and they’re all of student age – shows not while they’re playing, but in the faltering silences between songs and the long soundchecks; in a year they should be able to run up to stage and start at once with the great big bang they’re meant to.

At this festival, they suffered through being billed as “indie” and a power cut midway through their set. In spite of these indignities, they held on to a considerable audience, sounded terrific throughout and had people bobbing along in the heatstroke conditions. They do all the good things in pop – tightness, swiftness, economy, hooks – and have successfully steered themselves away from the pretentiousness and posturing that seem endemic to so many bands here. If there’s a prize for Most Promising Group, I’d like to see them have it, please, the sooner the better. Now, I don’t know what sort of a market there is for sharp, clever, exhilarating music like this and I still haven’t fully managed to work out how Chennai, of all places, could throw this up, but here’s a happy fact, lads: the gold watches, bellies and moustaches of mainstream India might pass you by, as will almost certainly the Pink Floyd stoners and the tie-dye brigade. But all the cool girls in the world like your sort of music best.

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10 thoughts on “My Daughter Looks Like the Milkman – Adam & the Fish-Eyed Poets, 13/11/11

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  6. From the band’s face book events page – “..loosely categorised in the post rock genre, serves as a tribute to the great Existentialist poets of the modern era.. to fully articulate the alternating cathartic and subtly, almost incisive sense of aggression in Kishore’s unique sound, which he claims is rooted in a volatile balance between the primal sexual energy of the Stax/ Volt era Rhythm and Blues, and the cynical passive aggressive precision of Post Punk acts..”
    I love this band but that’s some fine B.S. right here, boys. I hope you don’t believe it yourselves. Do you?

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