Queen Adreena

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Concert Review by Jamie Homer

ICA, London – 22 March 2005

A strange, eclectic group of people assembled tonight for what would be a strange, weird and truly unique gig at the ICA in London. The crowd, some of who clearly date back to Katie Jane Garside and Crispin Grey’s Daisy Chainsaw days, remind me that rock and roll knows no age, no fashion and no boundaries. It is an interesting mixture of goth, punk, indie and metal thrown together and given a bad jumper to wear.

The gig opens to a video of that sickly girl from THE RING crawling down the hallway, haunting you in her decrepit state and giving you that strong and powerful sense of the “icks”. A truly fitting way for this gig to commence.

I had done a bit of research pre-show and was quite intrigued to finally see this band live after all the hype I had heard and read about. Moreover, I can honestly say, even if you do not care for their brand of music – a fusion of indie-goth meets psycho punk, something the Sex Pistols might sound like if they played their first gig in 2005 – the show sticks with you for days afterwards.

Singer Katie Jane Garside is mesmerising, partly out of morbid curiosity as to whether she will remain upright or fall off her chair in a blaze of drunken wonder and partly as to whether she will hit some unsuspecting member of the crowd with her bottle of wine. I wonder if she reminds me more of what Björk might be like on acid or Kate Bush on a bad night? Not that this is a big deal; she has wonderful range and uses her voice to sing softly and gently, and then angrily and in bursts of rage. Crispin Grey reminds me of Austin Powers playing guitar in a public school jacket; is he really the lead guitar playing or Katie’s punching bag? Richard Adams on bass is cool. Either he is well off his face and cannot move, or he is simply rock and roll epitomised and given a bass guitar. Billy on drums is the heart and soul of this band. I know that Katie gets most of the press, and rightly so, however Billy keeps the band’s rhythm together and is pure energy with drumsticks.

Uneasy. This is the best way to describe what Queen Adreena did to me tonight and how they left me feeling. I do not think this is a bad thing, just maybe it’s their thing. I honestly do not know what to say. Check them out; I think that is the best advice I can give, and let their music and show speak for itself. Words I do not think will ever do them justice, so I will stop using them.