So who’s this barging past and swearing the cunting fuck out of the space where we’re queuing to get in? Five minutes later, there she is again, onstage and spinning 50% of the vocal gold as part of Peggy Sue. Their music revolves around these twin blues voices, Rosa and Katy’s similarly tuned, differently pitched tones calling up old ghosts and burnt up romances (there’s a drummer too, but he has a silly jumper and moustache combination and warrants no further mention). Even the songs that end stamping up the flames sound like laments – all is bruised, mournful, coated in dust. The interplay between the spidery dual guitars and the haunted, fraying vocals is offered under rare levels of control, hypnotising in the space between mannered and about to break. In other words: pretty fucking good.
If the Thekla crowd open their legs any wider there’ll be feet out of portholes, directing shipping. Wild Flag turn the delirious expectation into curly-toed satisfaction with as much difficulty as boiling an egg, partly through shit hot garage rock, and partly through being unbelievably, stinkingly cool. Watching this on mute would be just as good (if, you know, slightly creepy): leg kicks on the opening chords from Carrie Brownstein and Mary Timony, grit and brass from world’s-coolest-housewife Janet Weiss, Blondie-like keyboard presence from Rebecca Cole, and constant goofy grins between them all. The music they play is perfect for their peacock feathers – uptempo sass grinning on Nuggets-y, new wave goodness brings strutting, feline moves; the longer, Doors-y jams bring open-mouthed, kneeling worship and shears it of all male wankery smell. You can be all things to all people – knowledge of the band members’ collective years spent in other shit hot outfits (Sleater-Kinney, Helium, Quasi, oh, you bloody know) allows you to ascribe wisdom to their lopsided beaming, but the force that hits you like a truck tonight is the still-consuming electricity of being in a band, being free, and having stupid amounts of fun at the same time. Wild Flag play plugged in and glowing, then scarper like the best gang in town, no problem.