Fronted by Nic Offer and assisted by vocalist Lea Lea, !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) brought their dance-punk flavours to a sold out Oval Space, London’s multi-purpose arts venue set amongst a redundant industrial estate in Hackney.
Being fairly new to this band and after seeing their latest video Dancing Is The Best Revenge, I was intrigued to witness their live show.
Laetitia Sadier opened the evening with a view of the sun setting through the frame of the old gas storage depot towering next to the venue. An intimate solo performance of songs in both French and English, Laetitia is known for creating experimental pop group Stereolab, along with Tim Gane, gave a strong emotional performance over electric guitar, occasionally looping a live baseline adding further depth to her art.
By the end of her performance, the space was filling-up with a fairly casual crowd, most of whom had probably come straight from work for this mid-week treat.
After an interval of thumping drum beats and cheers from the crowd as they mistake sound engineers for band members. As the band are due to start, there’s a moment of anticipation, hesitance and confidence that you’ve made it and the shows about to begin. You’ve been chilling, playing it cool, but now your excitement is beginning to pop.
!!! arrived on stage ready to give us what we’d been waiting for; sporting his signature shorts and jacket combo, Nic Offer immediately came to the edge of the stage as the band began with NRGQ. The somewhat hard-house track, with wah-wah effects and disco style lyrics, got the party started.
The dancing began and the flamboyant poses followed. Nic’s energy on stage is far from shy and so it should be, this is funky music with attitude to dance to.
With vocal support from Hackney native Lea Lea, who also features on their latest album Shake The Shudder, amongst other accolades with various projects and her own material, it was obviously a special show.
Both kept the party moving with their vibrant dance moves, edgy vocals that kept poking your body parts to move and make you go ‘did he say …?’
From beginning to end, the band and crowd did not stop moving. From their new material to some of their older songs like Must Be The Moon’, to which Mario Andreoni played a nice bluesy guitar too, !!! really have to be seen live. You can hear and see that these guys feel it and love it, resulting in a funky hard attitude that’s fun, sounds great and makes you wanna dance.
Nic constantly interacts with the crowd, whether leaning over the barrier into the faces of the audience, strutting through the fans and dancing on top of the bar at the back, to crowd surfing. Like an infectious impulse to the groove, percussionist Allan Wilson joined Nic and Lea Lea on several occasions to shake-it front stage or down with the people.
Drawing influences from near & far, this New York based band have a long history with experimental dance music going back to 1995 and it’s easy to see why. They love it and their damn good at it.
Live Review & Photography by Nosa Malcolm of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Oval Space on 31st May 2017.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The dancing began and the flamboyant poses followed. Nic’s energy on stage is far from shy and so it should be.” quote=”The dancing began and the flamboyant poses followed. Nic’s energy on stage is far from shy and so it should be, this is funky music with attitude to dance to.”]