A Whip For Every Home

VILE ELECTRODES are the colourful Home Counties trio who combine an unhealthy obsession with analogue synthesizers and stark imagery of fetish porn.

The line-up of Anais Neon, Loz Tronic and Martin Swan played one of their most high profile gigs to date as support to NEW ORDER tribute band RE:ORDER at Camden’s Dublin Castle for a special Great Ormond Street Hospital fund raiser.

VILE ELECTRODES have a lively and catchy musical style that at times sounds like THE SMITHS reincarnated as CLIENT. With the shiny pop of the brilliant Play with Fire, Anais Neon’s deadpan vocal affirms her position as an electronic MORRISSEY with breasts as the predominately male crowd waiting for ‘Age Of Consent’ look transfixed. Saucily readjusting her eye-catching latex outfit, she asks “have you lot never seen boobs before?” to which the response is “NO! WE’RE NEW ORDER FANS!”

During ‘Headlong’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’ in particular, when Anais whips her electronic percussion pad like some synth dominatrix, the effect is unsurprisingly alluring.

Almost oblivious to what is going on, Martin takes his position as the bespectacled synth wizard, controlling the gritty but bright electronic grooves intently. Stage left, Loz Tronic plays the role of Best Supporting Bandmate, adding her own sexy pouts and harmonies while ably handling a variety of instrumental aids.

Songs ranging from the housey ‘Present Danger’ to the gothic rave of ‘Empire Of Wolves’ all find favour with the NEW ORDER true faithful as they warmly greet what’s on offer with good humour. One of the standouts comes in the shape of the wonderful ‘Feed Your Addiction’ which is somehow captured as a slap heavy, speeded up ‘Fade To Grey’ with added electro Burundi.

As proceedings come to a close, there’s a rare outing for one of VILE ELECTRODES’ best tracks ‘Deep Red’. It’s basically OMD’s ‘Statues’ with the loudness button on plus the added percussive tension of ‘The Romance Of The Telescope’ for good measure. It’s a gloriously epic end to the starter before the main course.

And when RE:ORDER finally appear, Anais Neon’s identical twin sister Jane takes to the stage as Gillian Gilbert.

Once described by Peter Hook himself as “hilarious… they play how we used to play – a little bit sh*t, a little bit shakey”, RE:ORDER are wonderfully shambolic and joyfully touching from a distance, all at the same time!

In fact, Jim as Hooky manages to replicate the Bass Viking’s low slung technique if not his look while the band’s leader Will, like John Simm in ’24 Hour Party People’ has Bernard Sumner down to a tee… everything from the haircut, the mannerisms, the vocals and even the fluffed cues!

The RE:ORDER live set features all the NEW ORDER and JOY DIVISION hits like ‘Regret’ and ‘Atmosphere’ as well as B-sides such as ‘Hurt’ and ‘These Days’.

A rendition of lost NEW ORDER single ‘Procession’ starts a spate of drunken dad-dancing while the mums all decide to join in during ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’! The highlight of the set though is ‘Heart And Soul’ which is enhanced by a dominant four-to-the-floor beat from Warren who plays the role of Steve Morris.

Free of bombast and clutter, the beautifully eerie chill of the original cuts through in this excellent reworking.

But entertaining as RE:ORDER are (and things will always be grand when there’s ‘Temptation’), it’s the undoubted potential of VILE ELECTRODES that really exposes itself tonight. Now, if Anais, Loz and Martin could just capture the essence and dynamic of their live presentation onto vinyl…

VILE ELECTRODES, along with SHH, KATJA VON KASSEL and NATU BELLA play the Oxjam Music Festival on Friday 8th October 2010.



Text and Photos by Chi Ming Lai
3rd October 2010