The Des Moines Riot & Graeme Mearns Band, Henry's Cellar Bar, Aug 8

Sorry, pseudo-rockers, but Hell's lounge has its bandstand reserved.

Feature by Ali Maloney | 14 Aug 2006

Fast establishing itself as the premiere alternative live venue, Henry's (nee Jazz) Cellar is running its own wee music festival.

First up tonight are the proudly local The Des Moines Riot, who stay on the right rocking side of indie, with just enough country twang, vicious tub thumping and gorgeously gruff vocal melodies to keep everyone happy. Mixing it up wonderfully without ever getting boring, even their ballads scream out for scantily clad babes bouncing on blokes shoulders. I'm not sure quite how Franz Ferdinand got popular, but surely these guys can't be too far behind.

Sorry, pseudo-rockers, but Hell's lounge has its bandstand reserved for when the Graeme Mearns Band *ahem* retire. Playing both kinds of music – "noisy and offensive" these guys are a revelation, kicking out swing'n'roll that is suave and demonic in exactly the right proportions. Smoking wah-wah-pedals swirl around perfectly blended vocals that sound like lounge crossed with Placebo, albeit without the angst laden androgyny, while stabs of funk bass and proto-stadium metal drumming drift in and out of focus.

Due to Last Bus Home Syndrome, I had to miss last minute editions to the bill, Big Hand. But if you're not already aware that these guys are THE premier monkeyboy ska lunatics, then go wake them up and make them play right now.