Two of the brightest female led rock groups were scheduled to play the first show of Norwich’s Sound and Vision festival. The two young bands have built up a following in the London and New York DIY scenes, however Diet Cig and Goat Girl’s live sets couldn’t have contrasted more.
Warming up the crowd were local duo, Sink Ya Teeth. They played a set of dance floor ready post-punk. Each track was tied together with groovy bass lines and punctuated by pummelling synths. Their latest single, ‘If You See Me’, was a particular highlight with Maria Uzor’s lyrics neatly summing up the post-party slump. But at Norwich Arts Centre the party was only just beginning.
Next up were Goat Girl, one of the most talked about bands coming out of the London DIY scene. Despite only having a few singles to their name they have already featured on the cover of BEAT magazine and signed to Rough Trade.
The four-piece have stated they are mostly influenced by older bands, such as The Slits and Patti Smith, and their attitude reflects it. For them it’s all about the music; they like what they’re playing and, if nobody else does, they don’t really care.
Throughout the duration of the set the two guitarists and bassist were stood static with their feet glued to the ground. Their set was reminiscent of shoegaze bands of the 90’s, bands that were renowned for paying zero attention to the crowd.To many this could come across as boredom.
The drummer hammered away methodically and the guitarists occasionally swayed from side to side, only opening their mouths in between songs to let the audience know what song they were playing next.
Although their stage presence was lacking, their music was anything but. Goat Girl’s gloomy guitar tracks did more than enough to justify the buzz surrounding the band, with the tracks ‘Scum’ and ‘Country Sleaze’ being particular standouts.
Diet Cig came from the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Lead singer, Alex Luciano, bounds onto the stage in an oversized neon hockey jersey. Kicking things off with a few jokes it’s clear she’s here to have a good time.
The duo tear through tracks from their EP ‘Over Easy’. The pop-punk tracks get those in the front row moving and the lyrics, which focus on adolescent anxieties, seemed to strike a chord with some of the younger members of the crowd.
Throughout the set Alex was a ball of pent up energy and was constantly running between the microphone stand and bandmate Noah, behind the drum-kit. Even on – what Alex described as the slower smooching tracks – she found time for a guitar solo and a few high kicks.
During the singles ‘Barf Day’ and ‘Tummy Ache’ Alex was pulling off the sort of moves you’d see a teenager do in front of the mirror playing air guitar. Alex’s enthusiasm was infectious and every time the lyrics of teenage angst grew a little tiresome she’d pull off a new stunt to keep the crowd entertained.
The evening was a night of contradictions and contrasts. In many ways it represented two very different reactions to the difficulties of being an almost-adult. On the one hand their was the downbeat, disaffectedness of Goat Girl and, on the other, the energetic optimism of Diet Cig; the British introverts and the American extraverts. But despite their differences on stage they both had the tracks to back it up.