LIVE: Pottery @ The Windmill, London
Canada’s post-punk purveyors prove their premier credentials in Brixton
Posted: 1 March 2020 Words: Jim Howells
Just down the road from HMP Brixton in south London, by Blenheim Gardens Estate and crowned with an essential flat-roof, The Windmill is grottier than the sum of its parts. The kind of venue where bands like Meatraffle and Fat White Family call home, it’s the post-punk petri dish for that ‘south London sound’.
Enter Pottery. Eager as puppies as they patrol the sold-out venue, shaking hands and tampering with guest lists, something comes to mind: “these guys know exactly what they’re doing”.
Pottery are here to claim this year as their own, and rightfully so after making countless “Ones To Watch In 2020” lists, releasing one of the finest EPs of last year, No.1. We’re not long into 2020, but these aren’t 2019’s post-punk darlings anymore.
With an early single release ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II.’ following the announcement of their eagerly awaited debut album Welcome To Bobby’s Motel (set for release 10th April, via Partisan Records), their sound is cemented, style, defined, and their fanbase loyal and eager - the flat-roof of the Windmill is shaking like it’s patrons at the thought of them bursting through.
Opening with the aforementioned ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II.’, jungle drums and gang vocals breaks are nothing more than a subtle nod to early Foals than a tribute, unfortunately, though, the crowd is still. Despite the lack of movement, the room is packed to the walls, empty pint glasses are passed through the crowd to the bar in a community-laden relay that is so familiar in these circles, and yet so removed.
Making their way through No.1, Pottery’s stage energy has a real air of Talking Heads Stop Making Sense. There’s a fine line between parody and homage, and Pottery are showing their genre-bending fore-fathers nothing but love. Still, the crowd (apart from some welcomed Windmill veterans) remains mostly static.
A burst of movement comes from a wave of phones rising up as they get into ‘Hank Williams’, yet Pottery remained unphased, grinding deep into their grooves which border on the edge of spontaneous jam sessions that end, as ever, perfectly in sync and awkwardly often mid-bar. Just to reiterate what I mentioned earlier, these guys know exactly what they’re doing.